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You Could Be Killing Yourself by Shoveling Your Own Snow

Posted by | January 27, 2015 | Healthy Living | No Comments

With the Blizzard of 2015 heavily upon us, I thought I would share this interesting article, written by Jonathan S. Geller regarding the risks of shoveling your own snow.

For some, there is no alternative, and we must shovel our own snow.  Therefore, this great read shares some wonderful tips to make shoveling your own snow a little bit safer – and healthier!

Before You Shovel Snow

  • Talk to your doctor before you take on this task of snow shoveling
  • Avoid shoveling immediately after you awaken as most heart attacks occur early in the morning when blood is more prone to clotting. Wait for at least 30 minutes and warm up
  • Do not eat heavy meal before shoveling: blood gets diverted form the heart to the stomach
  • Warm up your muscles before starting by walking for a few minutes or marching in place
  • Do not drink coffee or smoke for at least one hour before or one hour after shoveling or during breaks. These are stimulants and elevate your blood pressure and heart rate

While Shoveling Snow

  • Use a small shovel: shovel many small loads instead of heavy ones
  • Begin slowly and take frequent, 15 minute breaks
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Dress in layers, to avoid hypothermia (low body temperature) or overheating
  • Cover your head and neck (50% body heat lost thru head and neck)
  • Cover your mouth (breathing cold air can cause angina or trigger breathing problems
  • Watch for warning signs of a heart attack, lightheadedness, dizziness, being short of breath or if you have tightness or burning in chest, neck, arms or back. If you think you are having a heart attack call 911.
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About Craig Amnott

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dr. Craig Amnott earned his medical degree at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and is board certified in Family Medicine. Doctor Amnott is licensed to practice both medicine and medical acupuncture in the state of New York.

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