Shoveling Snow: Know Your Risks

When you are shoveling, go slow, dress in layers and over your mouth, head and neck from the cold weather

NATIONAL — When it comes to shoveling snow, it’s important to remember there is a right way and a potentially harmful way.

Doctors say shoveling snow causes significant strain on the body and if you have not been physically active throughout the year, it can put you at risk for many conditions.

The activity can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate and the cold air constricts the blood vessels and decreases oxygen to the heart, putting you at risk of a potential heart attack.

But doctors say those aren’t the only risks less active people take when picking up that shovel.

“I’ve fallen twice this year, it’s almost inevitable some winters,” Rob Olson, who is a chiropractor, said. “The main thing is if you’re falling, let yourself go, just go with it. Much better to do a slide than try to fight it and come down straight on an elbow or on your back or on your head.”

Doctors say if you must shovel or use a snowblower, wait at least 30 minutes after waking in the morning, don’t eat a heavy meal before shoveling and warm up your muscles by walking or marching in place for a few minutes.

When you are shoveling, go slow, dress in layers and over your mouth, head and neck from the cold weather.

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