Monday, February 26, 2007

Blogs / Mag. / The Shovel

Survived another snow storm

All is well in Wisconsin. We survived another one of Mother Nature's onslots. A little snow shoveling a little Advil; some more shoveling some more Advil..... ah time to rela... some extreme snow shoveling some Advil. It was a great weekend to catch up on some of my favorite blogs and magazines too.

Snow shoveling the new age sport - a how to approach

* Use the right shovel. Shovels with S-shaped handles and non-stick blade surfaces will usually require less effort and minimal bending to move snow. Or, consider pulling the snow out of the way, which requires less exertion.

* Avoid stimulants (for example, caffeine and nicotine) that can raise your heart rate and restrict blood vessels. Avoid shovelingimmediately after having eaten a large meal.

* Warm up and stretch muscles before shoveling, especially in themorning. Muscles are less susceptible to injury during physicalactivity after a warm-up.

* Drink plenty of fluids before and during shoveling to avoiddehydration, but not coffee (see above). Breathing cold air dehydratesthe body.

* Dress in layers. Wear a scarf or mask and/or goggles. Inhaling cold air may constrict arteries, decreasing your heart's oxygen supply.

* Start slowly to avoid a sudden load on the heart. An average snowshovelful of heavy, wet snow weighs up to 16 pounds. That means forevery 10 minutes of typical shoveling, you'll be clearing up to 2,000pounds of white stuff. To lift snow, bend from the knees. Remove heavy snow in two stages. First, skim off the top layer, and then remove the bottom. If snow is too heavy to lift, push it out of the way. Take frequent breaks as needed.

* Immediately stop if you feel pain or discomfort. No one knows your body as well as you do.

* If you have a lot to shovel, consider hiring a removal service.

* If using a snow blower, follow safety precautions completely. NEVER attempt to clear a clogged or stuck blade or auger before shutting off the power, and avoid wearing objects that can easily get caught in the blade, such as a long scarf. Before starting, be sure children and others stand clear to avoid being injured by hidden objects thrown into the air. Even using a snow blower will elevate heart rates, so consult your doctor if you have a history of heart problems.

Paddler, Small Craft Advisor, Good ole Boat; Can't wait for the new issue of Extreme Shoveling to come out. -The Capt'n

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