Most people love winter season, but one thing which everyone hates about winters is the snow menace. Shoveling snow is probably the most hated activity of the winter months that poses significant health risks. Snow shoveling is a daunting task and the overexertion caused by this activity can sometimes lead to health complications and even death. This demanding task puts pressure on the heart and can cause heart attack; especially at low temperatures, when blood vessels contract and the heart pumps faster to get blood to the extremities. Besides heart attack, there are various other problems that a person can face because of shoveling snow. Due to the repetitive lifting of heavy weight snow, one may put strain on the muscles and back. In order to avoid such complications, one needs to take preventive measures to stay safe.
Before you plan to shovel snow, you must consider your health condition. In case you have heart condition or back problem, you must certainly avoid snow shoveling. Even otherwise, do not jeopardize your health and check with your doctor if you are fit to shovel snow. Apart from health condition, also consider your physical condition. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or are out of shape, you must proceed with caution. Before you start this physically challenging activity, you must stretch and warm-up like you would do before a strenuous activity. You must also drink some water to remain hydrated.
In case you are planning to shovel snow yourself, there are few simple things that you need to keep in mind. Foremost, avoid lifting snow-filled shovel as much as possible because it can be strenuous; instead try to push off the snow from the driveways, sidewalks or walkways. However, if it unavoidable and you do have to lift snow then you must face the direction in which you are lifting, but avoid twisting. On feeling sore or fatigued, you must stop shoveling for few minutes, take some rest and then start again. You must avoid over-exhausting yourself at all costs to avoid risk of heart attack. If it is extremely cold and you begin to feel its effects, stop shoveling and take rest, go inside for a while.
There are certain snow shoveling safety tips that you must always follow, such as you must never shovel immediately after you wake up. Lying down all night leads to build-up of fluid in the disc and a minor accident like fall increases risk of slipped disc injury. Dress in layers to keep yourself warm, and you can shed off layers as you become warm. Make sure to wear slip resistant boots and eye gear. In order to keep snow from sticking to the shovel, you can spray or rub some lubricant on it. It is advisable to keep the load lighter and take frequent breaks. Once you have cleared the snow, spread some rock salt to avoid icing.
In case you have a snow thrower, ensure to follow all the safety guidelines to avoid injuries. Even after shutting off, the augur blades can continue to rotate and one can reach into the snow thrower and suffer injuries. In such cases, people tend to break fingers or damage tendons, while some injuries are worst and can result in maiming or amputations. Hence, whether you shovel snow manually or with the help of high-powered snow thrower, be careful and take measures to avoid accidents or injuries.
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