MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — If you find yourself with shovel in hand during this latest batch of wintry weather, pace yourself.
Heart attacks and other cardiac events tied to snow shoveling only amount to about 7 percent of issues that come up each year, they are the most serious, according to tips from The Travelers Insurance Company.
They suggest folks who do not exercise on a regular basis, are middle-aged or older, or have any health conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, should check with their doctor before doing any strenuous shoveling.
For those who are braving the cold and the snow piles —
–Warm your muscles before heading out to shovel by doing some light movements, such as bending side to side or walking in place.
–Push rather than lift.
–Consider using a lighter-weight plastic shovel instead of a metal one to help decrease the weight being lifted.
–Pace yourself and be sure to take frequent breaks after 20 to 30 minutes of shoveling, especially when the snow is wet.
–Keep up with snowfall. Try to shovel snow shortly after it falls, when it is lighter and fluffier.
–Dress in layers
–Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while shoveling.