The winter can be a wonderful time of year. Families all over the world come together to enjoy what can be a winter wonderland. As snow blankets homes and cities, one can forget just how dangerous winter can be. While the holidays may come and go, the inconvenience of the snow lingers long into the New Year.

Understanding Heart Limitations

While it may seem like snowfall increases yearly, and it’s getting harder to shovel, it’s not. The fact is our bodies get older. Tasks easily completed in the past can come with great difficulty with age. However, snow shoveling can be an intense cardiovascular workout that many are not suited to perform. Snow shoveling is typically done first thing in the morning, before breakfast. But did you know shoveling snow for 30 minutes will burn as many calories as exercising for 30 minutes? A person weighing 155lbs, shoveling snow, will burn approximately 223 calories after 30 minutes. While a person, of the same weight, performing a cardiovascular exercise will burn 140-290 calories in the same period.   Knowing and understanding the limitations of your heart is important. Harvard Health estimates that at least 100 people, mostly men, die during or immediately after shoveling snow, and hundreds of thousands visit the hospital with chest pain. It is simple to avoid overworking the heart, especially when it’s vulnerable.  Here are some tips that can keep your heart safe while you shovel.

  1. Perform Warm-Up Exercises. Shoveling snow is a very physical workout, and with any workout, warming up the heart is important. 
  2. Move small loads slowly. It may seem like a race to beat the next storm but moving small lite loads of snow is a smart and effective way to clear the snow.
  3. Take a Break. The reality is that no matter how much snow you shovel, more will come. Taking frequent breaks for water or rest is important to maintaining energy and staying efficient.

The cold is another factor in staying healthy while shoveling snow. Staying warm will help keep your blood pressure normal and decrease the likelihood of a heart attack. While there are many risk factors, such as age and poor health, heart attacks are indiscriminate and can occur without warning. Going from a sedentary lifestyle to an extremely intense activity is dangerous and should be done with caution.

Slip and Fall Risk

Snow is a nuisance. The most ironic injury that can be sustained from snow shoveling is a broken bone or injuries resulting from a fall in the snow.

Visit an Expert Today in Springfield & West Springfield, MA 

Shoveling snow can put you at great risk, and it’s important to have a trustworthy caretaker at the ready. If you’ve suffered an injury or need a digital x-ray, contact the trusted staff at AFC Urgent Care Springfield and AFC Urgent Care West Springfield and be on your way this winter.