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Shovel Your Snow Safely

Hello Loyal Soup People! This week I’d like to talk about… snow! Specifically shoveling. While many of you have already gotten started, some might still need to get working. Snow shoveling can be fantastic exercise, but also extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, there have already been a few deaths reported of people suffering heart attacks while shoveling their driveways. It doesn’t need to be dangerous or *too* unpleasant when done correctly.

First, it is important to remember your limitations. When we are on a treadmill or elliptical trainer and feel winded, we can hop off for a minute to regain our breath. However, many of us refuse to stop shoveling until we’ve cleared the entire driveway or sidewalk. We don’t listen to our bodies and overexert ourselves. Also, the cold air causes our blood vessels to compress, making the flow of oxygen more difficult.

Second, keep your technique in mind to protect your back and shoulders. Be sure to warm up and stretch before starting. When shoveling, keep your shoulders and hips squarely facing the snow you intend to shovel. Avoid twisting the lower back to move the snow. Instead, bend at the hips and knees, and not the lower back. Prioritize your spine! Pivot your whole body – starting at the feet! It is almost like dancing! Walk with the snow rather than reaching the shovel too far to move it.

Remember, always listen to your body. If you are winded or feeling dizzy or light headed, STOP! Put down your shovel and go inside. Remove your layers and rehydrate. Shoveling can cause you to sweat profusely under all your clothing. When you stop, that moisture can make you quite cold and cause frostbite and hypothermia!

Stay safe, warm, and healthy, everyone!!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!

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