Snow can be quite heavy. It’s easier than you think to injure yourself while shoveling snow. These common sense snow shoveling safety tips will keep you from injuring yourself this winter.
Snow shoveling is no different than any other physical activity. For your own safety, ask your doctor if he feels snow shoveling is safe for you.
Shoveling snow can be a serious health safety risk, especially if you have a history of heart related illness. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are risk factors as well.
Cigarette smokers get short of breath quite easily. Shortness of breath will make your heart pump faster, increasing your risk of heart attack.
Hire someone if needed. If you are a senior citizen or you are simply out of shape, it would be wise to hire someone to do your shoveling for you. Concern for your own safety is nothing to be ashamed of.
Before starting to shovel, be sure you have warmed up properly. Try using the same type of stretching you do before your regular exercise routine.
Start slowly, work at a steady pace and take frequent breaks. Shoveling snow rapidly for long periods at a time will compromise your safety.
When you are shoveling snow be sure to remain hydrated. Dehydration can cause dizziness and fainting as well as more serious health issues.
Choose a small shovel, so you’re not lifting as much snow. Snow may appear light and fluffy, but it can get quite heavy when it starts to melt. A curved handle shovel is designed to take the strain off your back.
Plastic shovels weigh less than metal. Snow is not as likely to stick to them. These factors add less weight to your load. Spray the blade with a lubricant to keep snow from sticking.
Stand with your feet apart slightly and bend your knees as you lift. Twisting your body while lifting can cause injury. Your feet should point in the direction you are lifting and throwing in.
If it is cold outside, wear multiple layers for insulation, and so that you can shed layers if you become overheated. Be sure to cover your extremities to guard against frostbite.
Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and energy drinks. These can elevate your heart rate, increasing your risk for heart attack.
Shovel often as the snow falls. Heavy accumulated snow can turn to ice and cause a safety hazard for pedestrians. It can also be a real back-breaking proposition.
Please note: The author is not a licensed medical professional. This article is not meant to replace professional advice.
Thi article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.