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Snow may look puffy and light, but anyone who's shoveled will tell you that it's hard work. Some experts say that shoveling snow is as strenuous as running 9 miles an hour. Any exercise that strenuous can put a strain on your body. While snow shoveling may never be fun, these tips help make you safe:
- Warm up your muscles. Do a few stretching exercises so that the work doesn't come as a shock to your system.
- Wear a hat, since you lose most of your body heat through your head.
- Clear snow as soon as it stops falling. Freshly fallen snow is lighter than snow that has melted slightly and become more heavy and dense.
- Push snow out of the way when possible. It's less strenuous to push snow than to throw it with a shovel.
- Bend at the knee as you scoop the snow to reduce strain on your back and heart.
- Don't eat, drink, or smoke before shoveling. All of these put a strain on your heart.
Source: The Physician and Sports Medicine (21,1:177)
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