Although the snow has been minimal so far this season, it won't be long before there will be enough to shovel if history is any indication. Unfortunately, many people underestimate how physically demanding snow shoveling can be and end up hurting themselves in the process. Sprains and strains are common with snow shoveling, as are heart attacks. Before you pick up a shovel and head outside, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Use a small shovel or a snow thrower if possible. Repeatedly lifting heavy snow raises blood pressure and is extremely strenuous on the body.
- Take frequent breaks when shoveling a large amount of snow.
- Avoid eating a heavy meal or drinking alcohol prior to shoveling snow. These can put extra stress on your heart and give you a false sensation of warmth.
- Dress appropriately for the weather by wearing layers. Additionally, wear a hat to prevent losing heat through your head.
If you experience nausea, light-headededness, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or break out in a cold sweat, stop shoveling immediately and seek medical attention. These could be indications of a heart attack. If you are normally inactive, try to get into an exercise routine before the first heavy snowfall comes and get an okay from your doctor before shoveling.
Skip the Snow Shoveling and Hire a Professional
Shoveling snow is physically exhausting as well as time-consuming. You probably have other things you would rather be doing, especially at this time of year. We offer a range of winter services at The Lawnsmith, including snow shoveling, snow plowing, roof raking, and salting. While you stay safe and warm indoors, our crew will remove the snow at your home or office and as well as perform other requested services.
Please contact us to learn more or to request a free estimate.
Image Credit: dolgachov | iStock
There's no denying that the first snowfall in Minneapolis and St. Paul is beautiful, but the novelty wears off quickly when you have to shovel and plow it for months on end. Not only is this chore time-consuming, it can also be hard on your back and knees. Ignoring the snow won't make it go away, at least not until springtime. It also could keep you stuck indoors, which your boss might not appreciate. If you're the boss, keeping your property free of snow and ice is essential to prevent someone from sustaining an injury.
Best Practices for Shoveling Snow at Home
When there's a break in the snowfall, make sure that you have a sturdy, ergonomically designed shovel and head out to the driveway. A plastic shovel is less apt to freeze than a metal one, although shovels made of aluminum are the most durable. To avoid injury, push the snow across the driveway until it is out of your path. Avoid lifting the heavy snow so you don't become over-exerted. If you must lift the snow, be sure to bend at the knees before doing so. It's also important to dress appropriately for the weather and take frequent hydration breaks.
For a large dumping of snow, it's best to use a snowplow if you have one. You can attach a plow to the front of a heavy-duty truck or purchase a separate unit. For the sake of efficiency, plan to drive a bit slower when the snow is compacted, wet, or extremely thick. This allows the blade to go deeper into the snow. It's essential that you understand how to operate the plow safely before attempting to use it for the first time to avoid serious injury or even death. Additionally, you need to budget several thousand dollars if you want to buy a snowplow of your own.
Stay inside Where It's Warm and Let the Lawnsmith Worry about Snow
At The Lawnsmith, we don't shut down for the winter. We're available all season long to help residential and commercial clients with their snow removal needs. You can request monthly or per-incident snow plowing services as well as snow removal packages based on the amount of snowfall. Even though it's only October, our available openings fill up fast. If you would rather enjoy hot chocolate and winter sports than shovel snow, don't hesitate to reserve your spot today.
Photo Credit: Otispug