DENVER (CBS4)– Too many people grab their shovels and scoop up the snow as quickly as they can in an effort to clear their sidewalks and driveways of snow before it starts to stick.
That way could lead to injuries according to CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida. Watch his interview on the right way to shovel below.
“The most important thing for people to know is that there are three problems that tend to happen when people head out to start shoveling. The number one problem we see are people having heart attacks. The second thing is they wind up wrenching their backs. The third thing is they wind up taking a nasty fall. So you’ve got to remember you wouldn’t just run out of your house and go from a dead stop to running or sprinting a mile, you need to go into snow shoveling as if it is something you’ve slowly worked your way into and realize that you need to take your time do it safely so you don’t wind up paying a visit to us in the emergency room,” said CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida.
“The first thing I tell folks to do is your first ten minutes of shoveling should be done at about half of the normal amount of snow you would be lifting after you’re all warmed up. So that’s what I mean by starting slowly. That way you don’t wind up having an injury because those injuries usually end up happening at the beginning of shoveling.
“The other thing we tell folks is if you’re going to do some heavy lifting make sure you use your legs not so much your back. It’s also a little bit smarter to push the snow rather than try to lift it. The most dangerous move you can make is to lift a big heavy pile of snow and then twist and throw because that is how you wrench your back.
“Remember that this is intense exercise. If you were going to go out and exercise intensely in any time of the year, you are at risk of dehydration. So make sure you are getting your fluids while you are clearing your driveway and your sidewalks. You would take a break during intense exercise so be sure to take a break as you are shoveling as well.”