Chicago is anticipating a pretty wild snow storm today and we’re here to remind you of the dangers of shoveling!
Shoveling is a very strenuous activity and can be extremely dangerous for those who are not healthy and the elderly.
Shoveling causes sudden blood pressure and heart rate increases, can lead to fatal heart attacks and strokes.
Everyone needs to be careful when shoveling but those with heart disease, high blood and cholesterol and smokers are at a higher risk.
“Physically, what happens when you get really cold is you have constriction of the blood vessels,” says Lawrence Phillips, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. “It decreases the blood supply you’re getting to your vital organs.”
Men, who tend to shovel more than women, often don’t listen to their bodies and continue pushing until disaster strikes.
Please don’t push it when it comes to shoveling and follow the tips below:
Tips For Successful Shoveling!
- Avoid shoveling right as you wake up because blood is more prone to clotting.
- Warm up – walk around, march in place.
- Do not eat a heavy meal before.
- Don’t drink a lot of coffee before shoveling.
- Use a small shovel, which makes sue you pick up smaller loads
- Take breaks!
- Drink water
- Dress warmly, which includes wearing a hat, gloves, etc.
- Stop if you feel lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or dizziness.
Be a Good Neighbor!
If you have elderly neighbors, please offer to help them with shoveling, especially as snow accumulates and becomes heavier to lift.
Some people are setting incredible examples of this including Daniel Medina’s children, 6 and 10, who saw a man in a wheelchair shoveling and asked if they could help!
Others in Chicago include volunteers for My Block, My Hood, My City in Englewood.
They got together to shovel snow and clear path’s for elderly residents.