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Stay Safe in Cold Weather

By Sandy Schroeder

When cold, windy, snowy weather arrives, most of us find ways to deal with everything, but there may be a few more risks that we should consider.

Keep the Heart Safe

Harvard Health says the risk of heart attacks is something that we should not ignore. When you go outside in cold snowy windy weather, the small blood vessels in the fingers and toes tighten pushing blood deeper into the body. In response to the narrowing, the heart beats harder driving up the heart rate and blood pressure. 

This is not a problem for most people , but for someone with a heart condition, or other health issues, the risk may increase. Keep your weight down and stay current on regular checkups to protect your heart all winter long.

Clear Snow Safely

Avoid injury, pulled muscles, falls or broken bones with a few simple steps.

Get the right gear - Choose breathable waterproof layers that let you move and keep the moisture out. Choose warm waterproof boots with good traction.

See it as exercise - Warm up with stretches in the same way you would for any workout. Don't just dart out the door and start shoveling, inviting pulled muscles or an aching back.

Keep the workload down - Don't wait until you have two feet of snow to tackle. Stay up with the storms whenever possible.

Stay hydrated - Drink enough fluids just as you would at the gym or in a game to prevent dehydration.

Work smart - Always push the snow instead of lifting it to conserve energy and spare your shoulders and back.

Avoid accidents - Be aware of nearby cars, roads,  sidewalks and icy patches.

Carry your phone - Be ready for emergencies and use your phone if you need help.

Rethink Your Options

Consider other snow removal methods besides the traditional shovel.

Hire someone - If you know you should not be out there, look for teens or other locals who will do the job.

Melt the snow - Find out about safe ice dissolving solutions that will not damage bricks, stone or asphalt

Invest in a snow blower - Or get a snow removal service.

Whatever you do, plan ahead to get the job done without endangering your health or inviting an accident. Stay safe and reserve some time for more fun outings like sledding, making snow angels or building the best snowman.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Loveland, Colo.

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