Health Tip: Shovel Snow Safely

(HealthDay News) -- Shoveling snow may be a necessity if you live in a cold climate -- and it's good exercise. But you can also hurt yourself if you don't do it properly.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these snow shoveling tips:

  • Consult your doctor before you start shoveling snow, as it strains the heart.
  • If you have a health problem or you don't exercise often, consider hiring someone to shovel for you.
  • Wear several layers of lightweight clothing that repel water. Be sure to cover your head, and wear gloves, warm socks and sturdy boots.
  • Warm up your muscles before you start shoveling, drink plenty of fluids while you work, and take frequent breaks.
  • Make sure your hat and scarf don't block your vision. Be wary of ice patches and uneven surfaces.
  • Push, rather than lift, the snow. If you do have to lift, make sure you use your legs to lift instead of your back.

-- Diana Kohnle

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