About 1200 people die each year due to snow shoveling. So if you are a smoker, live a sedentary life, have high blood pressure or a history of heart disease please be carful and talk to your doctor. Everyone should follow some basic guidelines before exerting themselves too much:
- Drink water. Just because its cold don’t mean you can’t dehydrate.
- Warm your muscles and stretch before shoveling.
- Pace yourself and take breaks. It isn’t a race… though that’d be pretty cool. Check back with us on that.
- Stop if you feel pain.
- Pick the right shovel. As much as we love Big Shovels a smaller one can be a bit easier to maneuver since it carries less snow. No shame in that.
- Lift correctly so you don’t hurt your back. Keep your feet hip width for balance and your shovel close to your body. Bend from the knees and avoid twisting movements.
- Dress in layers so you can remove a layer as needed.
- Avoid coffee or smoking before as these can cause blood vessels to constrict and raise your heart rate. Drink some water instead and have some coffee after you shovel.