Your yearly reminder to be cautious when shoveling snow
The folks of Buffalo likely already know just how important it is to be cautious following heavy snowfall.
TOLEDO, Ohio — We all saw the massive amount of snow that was dropped on Buffalo, New York recently. Luckily for us, we have yet to experience anything nearly as bad. But this is a great reminder of how important it is to be cautious when shoveling snow.
Dr. Donald Ford of the Cleveland Clinic says some people may be at greater risk than others when it comes to shoveling snow. That includes those with heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as diabetes. He says these people should consult with their doctor about shoveling snow.
“We have to think of shoveling snow as a pretty significant exertion, like an exercise. So if you’re going out to exercise, people who have heart conditions, people who have risk for heart conditions, may need to talk to their doctor before they engage in that,” Ford said.
Frequent breaks are also a great idea. And because shoveling snow makes for great exercise, you have to treat it like any other exercise — by warming up. Even if you believe you’re in great shape, stretching out your back muscles, arms, shoulders, and legs can be quite beneficial. Walking, getting on the treadmill, or even hopping up and down also make for great stretches.
“Make sure you’re lifting from the center. Keeping your body upright, not reaching over. And here’s another tip. Make sure that you can throw the snow in front of you. Don’t try to throw it over your shoulder or to the side because that’s when people really start to get those back injuries, shoulder injuries, and so forth,” Ford explained.
And remember, ALWAYS lift with your legs and NOT your back.