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Article 2 (Dec 2018): When Snowmaggedon hits, just don't make it worse by shoveling

December 20, 2018
The 4,000 souls who live in Hancock, Michigan probably know to get their snow blowers out before winter drops the usual 200 inches on them.
But those in less flaky climes, when a storm drops six inches of snow, are probably going to get out a snow shovel one morning.
Think first.
It is recommended that you don't shovel snow if you are 45 or over. According to Popular Science, shoveling snow isn't mere exercise. It is uniquely challenging to the heart, causing blood pressure to rise and oxygen to drop. In addition, it is done in the cold, which means an increased chance of heart blood vessel constriction.
Don't imagine you are protected because you are a jogger or runner.  The demands put on the heart while shoveling snow are much higher than with those activities.  Still, it is better to be in shape than out of shape when you shovel snow.
If you absolutely must shovel snow, then follow these guidelines:
  1. Warm up first with some light stretching and movement.
  2. Don't smoke!  You are going to need all the oxygen your body can get.
  3. Eat lightly before shoveling. Large meals put a strain on your heart.
  4. Dress in layers.
  5. Plan to stop shoveling frequently. Go in and get warm.
  6. Push the snow, don't lift it.
  7. If you must lift snow, at least use a small shovel. Those wide shovels are best for pushing. Use a small, steel shovel. Don't constantly try to throw snow. Instead, turn small amounts over in a pile.
  8. Don't drink alcohol before or after shoveling.
  9. Consider buying a snow blower instead.
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