Don’t Risk Your Health Snow Shoveling
When you go out to shovel snow, there are some things you should remember. The following information was provided by Southcoast Health.
Shoveling snow is moderate to intense physical exercise, so be sure to ask your primary care provider whether you are healthy enough to handle shoveling duties. (If you have cardiovascular disease and are at risk, leave the shoveling duties to someone else).
Choose an ergonomically designed and moderately sized shovel that is lightweight and designed to make the job as efficient and safe as possible.
Drink plenty of water before and after shoveling.
Dress warmly and wear layers of clothing that you can remove to keep your body temperature comfortable as you work.
Make sure you have comfortable winter boots or walking shoes with rubber treads and waterproof soles. (To avoid slipping, take short, careful, flat-footed steps, spreading your body weight as evenly as possible across the entire surface of your feet.)
Stretch your back, shoulder, arm and leg muscles before beginning to avoid a muscle strain.
Consider shoveling every few hours so that you won’t have to shovel large amounts of snow all at once. And remember that wet snow is heavier than dry, fluffy snow.
Try pushing the snow instead of lifting if possible.
If you must lift, be sure to bend your knees and use your legs so as to avoid back injury.
Rest often. If you feel chest pains or light-headedness, stop shoveling immediately. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
(This information was provided by Southcoast Health. For more information, visit them at www.southcoast.org.)