Avoiding Injury While Shoveling Snow

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There has been a record amounts of snow in many regions of the country in the past few weeks. Many areas are still digging themselves out. Injuries from shoveling snow can range from muscle pulls to falls to heart attacks.

To avoid injuries while shoveling snow, it is helpful to take a few simple precautions.

Consider it a workout and begin by warming up --stretch and / or jog in place.

The best snow shovels are ergonomic, lightweight with a contoured handle that's designed to reduce bending and decrease lifting.

Regardless of the shovel used, it is important to use a proper shoveling technique. It is better to push the snow instead of lifting it. Take your time, don't overload the shovel.

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If you do have to lift snow, remember to bend your knees and lift with your legs rather than lifting with your back. Avoid twisting or throwing snow over your shoulder.

Take a break every 15 minutes to stand up straight and walk around. Drink water to prevent dehydration and overheating.

If you have a history a heart condition, it is best to avoid shoveling snow. Find someone else to clear it for you.

Some people shouldn't do any snow shoveling, Wainwright noted. Men and women over age 45, especially those who aren't physically active or have a history of a heart condition, should find someone else to clear the snow.

If you notice any signs of a heart attack while shoveling, stop immediately and seek help.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers winter health and safety tips.

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