As the pretty flakes fall gently from the sky, and your landscape is coated in a picturesque blanket of snow, thoughts often drift to a warm fire and a cup of cocoa. At least for a few minutes. Then the reality of snow removal sets in and you begin planning your attack. While many lucky women have snowplows, snowblowers or a family full of burly men, many women don’t and have to suit up for the snow removal game. But snow removal isn’t a game, and if you aren’t careful you can get hurt, so you need to be mindful of ways to stay safe while digging out.
Listen to your heart
Snow removal can be quite strenuous. Hospital across the nation see an increase in ER visits during snow storms due to heart attacks brought on by exertion. When you’re out shoveling snow listen to your body. Stay hydrated throughout your shoveling efforts. Take breaks when you need them. If something doesn’t feel right stop and rest. If you still don’t feel right, or are exhibiting heart attack symptoms, seek out medical help immediately. Heart attack symptoms can be different in women and therefore women need to be more aware of changes in their body and when they need to seek out medical advice. And hardest of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help if it gets to be too much.
Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
Shoveling puts a lot of strain on your joints and bones. Here is just another instance why your mother fought so hard to teach you good posture. Be sure to bend and lift with your legs to prevent back injuries. Twist at the waist to keep your back safe and reap the extra waist whittling rewards. Wear supportive shoes and consider taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory prior to heading out to ward off soreness. If you have a recurring joint issue, put on your brace or wrap and plan to apply warm compresses after you are done shoveling.
Black is slimming; although I don’t know how slimming you can make a snow pant. But nonetheless black is a popular color for winter attire. The problem is that in deep or blinding snow, black can look like many things other than a person. This can be dangerous as tired snowplow drivers navigate the streets of your town while you are out shoveling. So lighten up and choose winter clothing that is bright.
Make Sure You’re Connected
Not that you are likely to let your cell phone out of your sight, but you should definitely make sure to carry it when you are out shoveling snow. In the unfortunate case that something would happen to you from an innocent sprain to a car accident or heart attack, you will need a way to call for help.
Heat of the Moment
You will likely be outside shoveling for more than just moment so make sure you have plenty of heat. Dress warmly in layers to not only remain comfortable but to ward off frostbite as well. The newer workout textiles like Under Armour, are great pieces to wear in the winter as they are lightweight but do a great job of holding body heat in. Toasty socks for warm feet are a must have as well. Try a couple of pair of socks or look in the sporting goods section of your local department store for the warmest hunting socks you can find.
So who needs a hubby or a snowplow to keep your property looking like a winter wonderland? With some warm layers, a realistic view of your capabilities and some warm socks, you are completely ready to tackle that next massive snowstorm.
Avoid Winter Health Hazards. http://www.suite101.com/content/avoid-winter-health-hazards-a200455. Accessed November 10, 2010.