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.

 

Additional Chiropractic Therapies That Can Lead To a Pain-Free Life

Have you ever been to a chiropractor for an adjustment, felt great for the rest of that day, only to wake up in pain again the next morning? You aren’t alone. Thankfully, there are some ways to make those adjustments last longer, although they involve more than just a quick fix.

Instant gratification might make you feel better right away, but the results won’t last for very long. In order to get results that last, you’ll need to take advantage of some of the therapies offered by your local chiropractor in addition to your adjustment. It’s all about your health – so you need to make the
decision to choose the best therapies, not the ones with the fastest results.

It’s All about Spinal Health

Chiropractors believe that the spine is the source of many people’s misery. To put it a different way, a spine that’s out of alignment is the root of their pain. These misalignments interfere with the way that the brain and body communicate. Since the spine contains a large number of nerves, thanks to the
spinal cord, any misalignment can throw your entire system out of balance. All that it takes is one small injury, a tight muscle, a stretched ligament, or a damaged vertebra and you’re in quite a bit of pain. The back is quite complex!

This is why chiropractors first look at the spine as a way of alleviating your pain. In most cases, an adjustment can bring about instant relief. With that said, this instant relief doesn’t always translate into weeks of being pain-free. It’s only too easy to reinjure that area since it’s already weakened. Adding
therapy, such as the ones described below, to help support and hold the adjustment longer will allow for longer lasting results, actually fixing your problem.

Traction Therapy

Did you know that the posture and position of your head can put some stress on your nervous system? This can lead to headaches, plus neck and back pain. Traction therapy teaches you how to position your head and keep it that way correctly. The cervical curve will adjust over time as the therapy persists, leaving you with less pain and better posture.

At-Home Therapy

While some therapies, such as traction therapy, need to be done in a chiropractor’s office under proper supervision, others can be done at home. Your chiropractor can give you a list of instructions, complete with images so that you do everything correctly. These therapies include core strengthening. Your core are muscles consist of your pelvic floor, diaphragm, transverse abdominals, and your deep back muscles.

The muscles in your core are responsible for holding you upright and keeping your posture correct. You’ll need to exercise every muscle in your core – the front, back, and sides – in order to make everything stronger. This is definitely something that you can do at home because you’re less likely to injure yourself in the process.

Visiting a chiropractor can lead to instant pain relief thanks to an adjustment, but if you truly want results that will last, you need to ask your chiropractor about these additional treatments.

Reaves Chiropractic