Family Safety Tip: Shoveling Snow
Only For The Physically Fit
It is very important to make sure that you only attempt to shovel snow if you are physically fit to do so. Someone who is not right for the job can easily end up with a heart attack. Anyone who has a history of heart attacks, heart disease, high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure should leave the snow shoveling to someone else. Smokers are also at risk for a heart attack. Ask someone else in the home to shovel the snow or ask a neighbor for help. If you find yourself shoveling the snow yourself, make sure that you take breaks. Even if you think you are in the greatest shape you have ever been in, stop immediately if you begin to feel pain.
The sooner you start shoveling after the snow falls, the better. New snow is a lot lighter than snow that has sat around for days. When snow sits for days, it may melt a little, then freeze again. This creates a solid chunk of snow instead of the light and fluffy snow that can be found upon first snowfall. But whether you are shoveling light snow or heavy snow, it is important to make sure that you are properly dressed and hydrated. You also want to work out for 10 minutes prior to shoveling. Jog in place, use an exercise bike or do some jumping jacks. Whatever you do, make sure you get your blood pumping and your muscles ready for action.
The worst thing you can do is shovel snow using the wrong movements. You can easily pull a muscle, throw your back out or slip and fall on ice. The first step to shoveling safely is to use a small blade shovel. Even though the large blade shovels can look tempting because they move more snow at one time, they are the shovels that can help contribute to injuries. You only want to move small amounts of snow at a time because it will be less strain on your muscles.Even if you have to be somewhere, take your time. Pace yourself and take it easy. The more you rush the snow removal, the more at risk you are for injury. Also, make sure that you are using the proper lifting technique, even for small amounts of light snow. Bend at your knees instead of the back or waist. Do not twist your body to throw the snow off to the side. Instead, turn your entire body.
Source: Snow Shoveling Safety | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/way_5268081_snow-shoveling-safety.html#ixzz1Aj6KIzNm