Individuals over the age of 40, or those who are relatively inactive, should be especially careful. If you have a history of heart trouble, check with your doctor before shoveling.
Avoid shoveling after eating or while smoking.
Take it easy. Snow shoveling is a weight-lifting exercise that raises your heart rate and blood pressure. Warm up before starting the job and stretch both before and after shoveling. If possible, shovel only fresh snow — it is easier to shovel than wet, packed-down snow.
Push the snow forward rather than lifting it out of the way; pick up only small amounts when needed. Your back will thank you. As with any lifting activity, use your legs, not your back. Keep your knees bent and your back straight. Bend and "sit" into the movement, allowing large muscle groups to do most of the work.
Never work to the point of exhaustion. Take frequent breaks. If your chest feels tight, stop immediately. Dress as you would for any outdoor activity. Dressing in layers is best. Take extra precautions to keep hands and feet warm.
DON'T GET SICK...GET PRICKED!!
Photo Source: CDC
Be sure to get your flu shot this season!!! Click here for the North Dakota Department of Health Flu Vaccine Information.
If you are older than 65, have a chronic medical condition, or pregnant, you have a higher risk of getting the flu. Young children are also highly susceptible to the flu. If you have the following symptoms, avoid the possibility of spreading the virus to others and stay home for at least 24 hours until after the fever has broken!
Runny or stuffy nose
Diarrhea and vomiting
While the emergency room is intended for those who are very sick, not just mildly ill, always seek medical advice if you are uncertain about your health. Click here for emergency flu warning signs from the CDC.