Exercise Common Sense While Shoveling Snow

That first snowfall every year is so beautiful. There is something about the quiet white blanket draped over trees, bushes and lawns that is just so peaceful. Then the months roll by and its just not fun anymore. Driveways and sidewalks must be cleared after snowfalls. This is when that pretty snow shows her evil face. Thousands of Americans find themselves in the Emergency Room every winter thanks to shoveling snow. A recent study had over 11,500 patients in the ER. Another recent study documented 1,647 Americans dying from this activity. It’s time to exercise some common sense before you charge outside to shovel.

Shoveling Snow is like Exercising at the Gym

Lifting a snow shovel and throwing snow can be likened to pushing around weights at the gym. As your heart rate increases in the cold it can be like running on a treadmill. Shoveling puts quite a demand on your cardiovascular system. If you have heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol or other medical conditions you might want to consider having the snow moved professionally.

Physical Common-Sense Ideas

  • Eat Light- don’t consume heavy food before you head outside. This only adds stress to your heart.
  • Don’t Smoke- this can change your circulation.
  • Caffeinated Beverages- any caffeine can stimulate your heart rate and cause the constriction of your blood vessels.
  • Stay away from alcohol- this can trick you into thinking you are not cold or are not working as hard as you are.

Outerwear Suggestions

  • Layers- anytime you head outdoors consider dressing in layers.
  • Comfortable- wear clothing that is easy to move in when shoveling or pushing a snowblower.
  • Stocking cap- you lose a lot of body heat through your head.
  • COLD air- consider breathing through a scarf to warm up that icy air entering your body.
  • Boots- not only will this help keep your feet warm it will help with your footing.
  • Gloves- in fact, don’t hesitate to buy some mittens. Keep those fingers warm as they grip the shovel.

The Ergonomics behind a Snow Shovel

  • Smaller shovel-consider using a smaller shovel to lighten the load when it comes to either pushing or lifting the snow. This will be easier on your body.
  • Ergonomics-a curved handle might help you keep your back straighter reducing stress on your spine.
  • Plastic or metal- don’t you think a plastic blade might be lighter than metal? Research this before you buy, after all, the snow is heavy enough.

Know your Body

  • Push don’t lift-handling wet, heavy snow if very, very hard on your lower back.
  • Watch your footing-pay attention to the surface and how slippery it is. Falling contributes to those ER statistics.
  • Take breaks often- it doesn’t have to be done immediately. Take your time, listen to your body.
  • Know when something is wrong- STOP shoveling! If you have chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or any discomfort in your back, arms, neck, jaw or stomach it might be a sign of cardiac stress or even a heart attack. Stop and consider calling a medical professional immediately.

 

Car Accidents, Injures & Chiropractic Care

Often times after a fender bender or being rear-ended folks jump out of the vehicle and shake off the fact that they don’t have any immediate injuries. Many people chose to walk away and do nothing after an auto accident because they don’t have any major damage or trauma to their bodies. There are a lot of other issues that can develop. Sometimes in hours, sometimes in days.

The First Adrenaline Rush

After having been involved in an accident your body reacts with an immediate adrenaline rush. This happens to all of us. The excitement of the event causes the heart to race which results in the body generating endorphins and adrenaline which can energize you and mask any pain. Once the accident victim has calmed down the pain might be more evident. Some people think the pain will just go away, others find the filing of a personal injury report intimidating and chose to avoid the process.

Different Types of Injuries

Car accidents generate a lot of force. Even slow rollers at low speeds. The driver and passengers can get thrown around, jerked back and forth, which is hard on the joints and all soft tissues. An umbrella term that covers most soft tissue injuries is that of whiplash. Most often this relates to damaged neck muscles resulting in pain and swelling. Whiplash symptoms can take days or even weeks to start showing and unfortunately soft tissue damage cannot be diagnosed by x-rays. You can consider seeing a chiropractor as a proactive or preventive measure in dealing with potential whiplash.

Concussions are another common injury from car accidents. The brain can strike the inside of the skull with a lot of force causing a concussion. Sometimes these are immediately evident and sometimes not so. The symptom can include dizziness, headaches, blurry vision, lack of energy, feeling sort of foggy, memory issues and unusual sleep patterns.

See a Doctor No Matter How You Feel

You only have one body and you should always make it your top priority. Having just experienced a life event like a car accident you should let a professional examine your body as soon as possible. Even if there are no immediate symptoms the examination is on record in the event that difficulties develop later. This will be advantageous in the event that the insurance company needs to become involved down the road.

Do Not Sign Anything without an Objective Review

The first call you might receive will be from the other driver’s insurance company. They will ask about your health and if you feel any pain. They will want you to legally disclose that you have no discomfort or injury so the liability will be shifted from them if any discomfort or pain appears at a later date. Even though this pain might be the result of this accident you have waived their responsibility by agreeing to sign the waiver. Wait on signing anything.

Seeing a chiropractor or a family physician will not only make common sense moving forward but the chiropractor might be able to do an adjustment or two to neutralize the stress you have just endured.

Reaves Chiropractic