Shoveling an inch of snow is a breeze.
But clearing 8 inches from your sidewalk and driveway could be taxing on your body — and dangerous to people with heart conditions.
The Mayo Clinic, which is based in Minnesota so they know snow, offers these tips for safe shoveling:
Be heart conscious
If you have a history of heart problems and are currently inactive, talk to your doctor before shoveling, or ask someone to do it. Don’t shovel after smoking, eating, or drinking caffeine.
Wear several layers of clothing. You can always remove a layer if needed.
Drink plenty of water
Remaining hydrated during cold-weather months is just as important as during warm-weather months.
Warm up first
Stretch your arms and legs before beginning to shovel. You are less likely to injure muscles when they are warm.
Take breaks if you need to.
Bend at the knees
Lift with your legs bent, stand with your feet hip-width apart for balance and keep the shovel close to your body.
Push, don’t lift
Push the snow when you can. If you have to lift the snow, fill the shovel half way or use a smaller shovel.
Shovel while snow is fresh
Freshly fallen snow is lighter than snow that has started melting.
Listen to your body
This is the most important snow shoveling tip. If something feels abnormal, or if you’re tired, it’s time to stop. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately.