LOCAL NEWS: Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

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The first snowstorm of 2014 promises to pack a punch! Several inches are expected, but be careful, because all that beautiful white snow can be deadly. Heart attacks, back strain and muscle soreness are just a few of the problems attributed to shoveling snow.

If you shovel for 30 minutes, you’ll clear away 200 calories along with the snow. Snow shoveling is very demanding on the body. Typical winter conditions (a little more than an inch of snowfall and temperatures that dip below 20 degrees) cause death rates from heart attacks to triple among men 35 to 49 years old. Shoveling snow can be very dangerous if the right precautions aren’t taken.

What makes shoveling more dangerous than other average tasks around the house is the temperature. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase during strenuous activity. That, coupled with the body’s natural reflex to constrict arteries and blood vessels when exposed to the cold, is a recipe for a heart attack.

Here are some tips to make shoveling safer:

Always remember to dress warmly. You may be working up a sweat, but that doesn’t mean you’re immune to the effects of the cold.

Don’t feel you need to get the whole driveway cleared in one shot. Take breaks every 15 minutes.

Go inside for some hot chocolate, but don’t drink coffee. The caffeine may increase your heart rate and cause your blood vessels to constrict, just like smoking does.

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article courtesy of 19ActionNews.com

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