Watch out for the Snow Monster

It’s probably a good time for a few tips on snow shovelling.

Watch out for the Snow Monster

There have been some rumblings about snow in the Valley in time for Christmas! As a chiropractor two things run through my mind. No. 1: maybe some snow will be good for business and No. 2: it’s probably a good time for a few tips on snow shovelling.

Back when we were all young studs or studettes out in the prairies we could all probably shovel snow all day, seven days a week, all winter; however, that is probably no longer the case.

Our west coast living does not keep us ‘up’ on our snow shovelling conditioning so here are some important tips.

1. Don’t rush the job, take your time. This is true for any new physically demanding job that you’re undertaking for the first time. Your body will need a bit of conditioning before you can really fire up the shovelling guns. Apparently, if you’re older and out of shape, your risk of having a heart attack in the hour after a vigorous snow shovelling session is increased 53 times!

2. Avoid coffee and nicotine before you shovel. These chemicals increase blood pressure and will increase the stress on your heart while you’re working. Better yet, quit smoking all together.

3. When you’re starting out at the beginning of the season, use a smaller shovel or begin with small loads.

4. Start slow and build up the intensity. Hockey players go for a skate to get the blood moving before they play the game. That’s true for snow shovelling too.

5. Take lots of stretching breaks. Shovelling is tough work. Every five to 10 minutes take a short “back” stretch break. I like to stand up very straight, roll my shoulders, arch my back backwards a little, then get back at it.

6. Keep the load close to your body. When you lift the shovel full of snow, keep your back straight and lift with your legs. Keep the shovel head close to your body; carry the load close to where you’re going to dump. Try not to twist your back as you work. To reduce your work even more, you can try pushing the shovel to where you need to dump the snow. Get rid of that whole lifting process all together.

7. Take a few minutes to stretch after the job is done. You may think you’re an athlete but shovelling is probably a new activity. Try and head off tomorrow’s stiffness with a five minute total body stretch today.

8. Dress in layers that can be removed as you warm up. In our country that may include a rain jacket.

9. Watch out for hidden ice. We know the videos on America’s funniest videos have a few very funny slip and fall sections; I would hate to see you on one of them.

10. Watch for the warning signs of a heart attack and don’t be embarrassed to go to emergency. Warning signs include shortness of breath, burning pain in your chest or arms, dizziness, and unreasonable fear just to mention a few.

11. It doesn’t hurt to see your medical doctor (or your chiropractor) periodically for a physical. If you haven’t been for awhile, before the snow shovelling season is a good time.

12. The method I use to keep my back limber and healthy — get the kids to do the shovelling.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dr. Martin Barker

Duncan

Just Posted

North Cowichan hires new manager of fires and bylaw services

Martin Drakeley brings 35 years of fire experience to the role

Shimmy Mob lights up Duncan City Square

VIDEO: Annual Cowichan Shimmy Mob event brings bellydancers out in force

Duncan Showroom still needed: Longevity John Falkner

He may sport a half-beard but there’s nothing half-hearted about his support for performers

VIDEO: Michael Jerome Browne presents many shades of blue

With different instruments ranged all round him, the blues master had many tales to tell

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Most Read