Snow Shoveling Tips

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Winter Tips | Comments Off on Snow Shoveling Tips

It happens every winter in this part of the country… snow falls, usually leaving piles of it to clear from your sidewalks and driveway. Why not think about the following before you grab your shovel after a major snowfall:

Scooping up heavy piles of that snow is hard work for your back muscles. Impatience or overenthusiasm can cause you to pull a muscle or suffer from nagging backaches. Shoveling “pros” recommend that homeowners use curved shovels versus flat ones (they retain snow more effectively) and select a shovel that is of reasonable weight. Make sure that as you’re lifting your snow-filled shovel, you’re bending your knees. Don’t twist your back and toss the snow over your shoulder. That movement, when repeated continuously, will promote backaches.

Ongoing research has shown an increase in the number of fatal heart attacks among snow shovelers after heavy snowfalls. This rise may be due to the sudden demand that shoveling places on an individual’s heart as snow shoveling may cause a quick increase in heart rate and blood pressure. One study determined that after only two minutes of shoveling, sedentary men’s’ heart rates rose to levels higher than those normally recommended during aerobic exercise.

Shoveling can be made more difficult by the weather. Cold air makes it harder to work and breathe, which adds some extra strain on the body.  Additionally, there is the risk for hypothermia if one is not dressed correctly for the weather conditions.

Who should think twice about shoveling snow?

 •Anyone who has already had a heart attack.

•Individuals with a history of heart disease.

•Those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.

•Smokers.

•Individuals leading a sedentary lifestyle.