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Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
Date:12/2/2008

tp://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00418), as their bodies, specifically backs, shoulder and arm muscles may not be prepared for that level of activity."

The Academy offers the following tips to prevent injuries while shoveling and using a snowblower:

  • Check with your doctor. Because this activity places high stress on the heart, speak with your physician first. If you have a medical condition or do not exercise regularly, consider hiring someone to remove the snow.
  • Dress appropriately. Light, layered, water-repellent clothing provides both ventilation and insulation. It is also important to wear the appropriate head coverings, as well as mittens or gloves and thick, warm socks. Take a break if you feel yourself getting too hot or too cold.
  • See what you are shoveling/snow blowing. Make sure that your hat or scarf does not block your vision. Watch for ice patches and uneven surfaces. Avoid falls by wearing shoes or boots that have slip-resistant soles.
  • Clear snow early and often. Begin when a light covering of snow is on the ground to avoid trying to clear packed, heavy snow.

Shoveling:

  • Warm up your muscles. Shoveling can be a vigorous activity. Before you begin, warm up your muscles for 10 minutes with light exercise. Be sure to include your leg muscles -- heart attacks and similar injuries are sometimes the result of working the smaller muscles of your arms and back while not using the large muscle groups of the legs.
  • Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and replenish fluids to prevent dehydration. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other signs of a heart attack, seek emergency care, such as by calling 9-1-1.
  • Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and str
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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