After a long stretch without having to deal with much snow, the souhteast is now in the throes of winter with plenty of snow and cold. After that snow falls on the ground, trying to move it improperly can sometimes lead to serious injury or even a heart attack.
The Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Doctor Steven Lear has a number of tips for those who will be out working to move the snow to prevent injury.
The first is to approach the snow with caution. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, shovelling can put a lot of strain on the cardiovascular system. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. As well, take a few moments to warm up, and shovel at a pace you are comfortable with.
Use the right type of shovel for the type of snow, and your height. It the shovel is too short, it will mean you have to bend over, which can strain your back. Using a shovel with a smaller blade will also mean you will lower the chances of a muscle injury.
The proper technique is also important. With wet and heavy snow, a smaller shovel blade is recommended to keep the weight you are moving down. Keep both feet on the ground, and put one hand close to the blade, lifting with the legs, not the back. When moving the snow after it is on the shovel, use your feet to move instead of just twisting your back.
Listen to your body and take a break if needed. As well, you can switch which side you are shovelling on to give your muscles a break.