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Fitness: Winter Outdoors-Shoveling w/HealthFitnessLifeGuy
Sal: I decided to share some of my personal shoveling tips after watching some tips shared at the local news station..
Shoveling heavy snow strains body, heart
Author: Gordon Severson
Published: 5:54 PM CST December 27, 2018
Updated: 5:54 PM CST December 27, 2018 kare11.com
“..Recent studies have shown the higher the snow totals the greater the risk for heart attack and when the snow is wet and heavy like it is for many in the Twin Cities this week, there’s an even greater risk.
First, the act of shoveling requires a significant amount of work on your arms, which most Americans aren’t used to working out….
“Usually people are walking, running or biking, using their legs. It’s more rare for people to exercise with their arms and it puts a relatively high amount of work on a relatively weak set of muscles,” Dr. Bart says.
The chilly air in winter also plays a role. Doctors say it causes your blood to thicken and narrows the blood vessels in your heart.
“You should listen to your body and if you have unusual shortness of breath or a pressure or tightness in your chest you should back off and seek medical attention.”
Doctors say right when you wake up is the worst time to shovel snow, because your body hasn’t had time to adjust and prepare itself for strenuous activity.
Dr. Bart encourages patients to give their bodies at least 30 minutes to wake up and to eat breakfast before shoveling snow.
“If you have previous heart or lung problems you might want to think about asking a neighbor for help or having someone else shovel your snow.”
Sal:…cont…Before shoveling, I try to get some “energy”, so I treat shoveling as a workout. I do some stretching and warming-up (usually my regular morning routine of “sit-ups” and “push-ups” to get the blood flowing throughout the body). I then eat to get that “natural sugar” (see Health: Alternatives to “processed” sugar for your “sweet tooth”? goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com) high (e.g. peanut butter jelly sandwhich or a fruit high in sugar). No matter how cold it is, I dress enough (light winter jacket) to not get sweaty as shoveling will warm me up. I do various phases . For example , yesterday, I shoveled the first priority area of my front yard sidewalk to get the mail person to deliver mail and clear the sidewalk to the street . Depending how much snow and weight, I would take a break. Yesterday afternoon, I took 1 hour and a half to shovel 9-12″ of snow in my front yard sidewalk and back. It was so much snow, I just did a width big enough just to walk through.
After my first phase, I treated it as a workout, so I had some “post-workout” (Health & Fitness: How to Gain “Healthy” Muscle Weight? goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com) snacks (e.g. protein). This not only build your muscles, but also gives you more energy for more shoveling.
The second phase, I roof shoveled both my house and garage. With more possible snow coming in this early part of winter. I don’t want my roof to collapse due to “heavy snow”, so better to shovel it while it’s lite and fresh! I also did my driveway to my portable garage (from 6ish-7ish). I want to do this part just so I have a place to park my car “inside” with the up-coming cold temperatures.
It’s a “race against time” as the wet snow might freeze and get harder to shovel. Fortunately, this didn’t happen with this particular “snow fall”. After the 2nd phase, I went back inside my house to take a break (e.g. snack-fired apples with cinnamon in olive oil, cottage cheese , etc..).
The third phase,I shoveled the driveway to my main garage late in the evening (8ish-9ish ). It was actually pretty peaceful at night and I would take a break and admire the beautiful stars. It’s important to take breaks when it comes to shoveling this large amount of snow.
It was late and didn’t want to do more shoveling that’s not needed even though the snow might freeze and become harder the next day. I got dinner and ate a high (see Health: When is “too much” Protein in your diet “too much”? goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com) protein meal (veggie burger). Before going to bed, I usually have a fish oil supplement, which is great to reduce inflammation (see Health: Tips to “fight” Inflammation goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com) or reduce any soreness after intense shoveling!
My last phase was this morning after my overnight (sleep shift) job. I went to do the “final touches” (e.g. widening the paths or clearing the whole sidewalk of my front and back yard.) I had enough energy to shovel even the grassy area in my front yard to dig-up my “solar string ” Christmas/holiday lights. 🙂 Again, I did my pre-workout (small peanut-butter and jelly “soft wrap” as a small breakfast- How to “naturally boost” your energy? goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com) and post-workout snacks! This time, I had some protein pancakes after my last phase of shoveling as a treat! 🙂
Snow Shoveling Exercises
Shovel Snow Like an Athlete! By: Dr Caitlin Davidson yogathletix.com
“..1. Warm up first: Take 10 minutes to get blood pumping to your major muscle groups to prepare them for working in the cold, and to prepare your heart and blood vessels for the strenuous cardiovascular workout ahead. Jumping jacks, squats, spider-man lunges, push ups… imagine you’re warming up for GETnFIT. This is an incredibly important step because many people not only injure themselves, but even die of heart attacks while shoveling snow every year. Share this tip with snow shovelers in your life!..”
Snow Shovel Fitness: 1 2 3 Go! Squat Press + Throw the … – YouTube
Safe Snow Removal for Seniors: Find Help, or Follow Best-Practices Published: Feb 25, 2014 comfortkeepers.com
Even for those who exercise regularly, shoveling snow is rigorous, physical work. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, shoveling is considered an intense activity that raises one’s blood pressure and heart rate. Here are some tips for seniors – and others – for shoveling safely:
Dress appropriately. Wearing layers will allow for adjustment to the temperature outside. Be sure to dress warmly enough and cover the head, face and hands when outside for prolonged periods of time.
Pick the right waterproof boots. Protect feet from the cold and keep them dry with waterproof boots. Non-skid boots help guard against falls on slick snow or hidden ice.
Pick a small shovel. Depending on how wet the snow is – a shovel full of snow can weigh up to 15 pounds! Selecting a smaller shovel means lighter loads of snow, which can help prevent injury to the body by creating less strain.
Stay hydrated. Water plays an important role when people exercise in the summer or winter. Having a water bottle handy just inside the garage and taking a few sips after every 15 minutes of shoveling snow will help guard against dehydration.
Shovel frequently. If a big storm is forecasted, go outside and shovel every time the snowfall is about 2 inches. This will help lessen the load and make snow shoveling more manageable.
Set a time limit. Shoveling snow is a hard work, so take a break after 20 – 30 minutes of shoveling and resume after having rested.
Lift with the legs, not the back. The legs have very strong muscle groups so make sure the legs carry the brunt of the lifting. Bend and straighten the knees when shoveling and make sure the back is not bending.
Push the snow. It’s easier to push the shovel full of snow instead of lifting and throwing the snow.
Separate the hands on the shovel. Creating space between your hands can increase leverage on the shovel to make it easier.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine before shoveling. Caffeine and nicotine act as stimulants to our bodies by increasing the heart rate and constricting blood vessels, which puts more strain on the heart.
Never shovel alone. Let a spouse or neighbor know you will be shoveling. That way, if a person does get into trouble someone will be looking out and can call for help quickly.
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