My 60 year old father refuses to hire someone to shovel his snow or even buy a snow blower. I am worried he is overexerting himself and putting himself at risk. Is there anything you can suggest?
Snow shoveling is a very vigorous physical activity, and while it may be good exercise, it can also be dangerous. As with any introduction to physical activity, preparation is important. Indi... read more
Snow shoveling is a very vigorous physical activity, and while it may be good exercise, it can also be dangerous. As with any introduction to physical activity, preparation is important. Individuals over the age of 40, or those who are relatively inactive, should be especially careful and consider getting a physical or consulting with their physician at the start of the season. If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel without getting approval from your physician.
Taking it slow and pacing yourself are also important to remember. Shoveling can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically. Be sure to stretch out and warm up before taking on the task. Don’t pick up too much at once and make sure to lift with your legs and not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and “sitting” into the movement, you’ll keep your spine upright and less stressed. And never shovel while smoking.
Do not work to the point of exhaustion. If you run out of breath, take a break. If you feel tightness in your chest, stop immediately. Dress warmly and in layers. Remember that extremities, such as the nose, ears, hands and feet, need extra attention during winter’s cold.