Sprains, strains, cuts and falling are common injuries when completing the seasonal chore. But if you’ve had medical problems such as a heart attack or any other serious medical condition, you may want to think twice before picking up the shovel.
"Shoveling snow is a vigorous exercise and very hard work and people don’t realize that," explained Dr. Vicki Whitacre. "And if they don’t listen to clues from their body and stop, they can actually precipitate or start a heart attack with their body."
Dr. Whitacre says if you are one of those people, you should find someone else to shovel for you. But, if you feel you’re capable, you should bundle up and drink lots of fluids before shoveling the snow. You should also lift with your knees and legs when shoveling so you don’t strain your back and remember to take a break when you get tired.
"If you’re an active, athletic person who’s always walking and always keeping your muscles in shape, then you probably can shovel snow clear up until your 60’s and 70’s, there’s 80-year-old’s who do it, ya know they run marathons. But you’ve got to listen to your body."
Whitacre also warns to not get close to downed power lines that could be "hot" while shoveling, and says to take it slow, your sidewalks and driveways will most likely be icy.