TIPS FOR SAFELY SHOVELING SNOW THIS WINTER 

By Alexa Green

videopic

This time of year, it seems like digging out and shoveling snow is just a part of our everyday routine. But as Alexa Green explains, while it can certainly get your heart pumping, it's an activity that's not for everyone, especially those with a history of health problems.

SYRACUSE N.Y. -- It's an activity we all know far too well. But many may not realize it, shoveling snow can be a high intensity workout.

"Your foundation, your lower body muscles are the ones you want to utilize, you know your large muscles, your legs. You're going to use your arms and shoulders. You're not going to avoid using your back," said Metro Fitness Club of Syracuse owner Randy Sabourin.

That's why on Saturday MetroFitness held a snow shovel fitness class. Organizers say the workout is a way to spice up your typical gym routine and increase your heart rate.

"Being one dimensional is not good. Exercise comes in many different forms, and we're about to introduce a new one to our class here," said Sabourin. 

But, if you're not shoveling snow as workout -- you're doing it to clear your driveway or sidewalk. Experts say there are still things you want to keep in mind.

"It's things like, not eating a heavy meal before shoveling, using a lightweight shovel instead of a heavy shovel, no alcohol before going out and certainly dressing in layers," said American Heart Association Syracuse Vice President Stephen Militi.

And if you do experience any problems shoveling, you want to make sure you seek help right away.

"People getting any chest pain, discomfort, dizziness, nausea, absolutely should call 911 immediately and not take that risk into your own hands" said Militi. 

"We use heart rate monitors. We tested this out and found that the average heart rate can get up to 85 percent intensity fairly quickly, so you do need to be cautious," said Sabourin. 

But if you're doing it safely, it can be a healthy way to burn some calories, while also clearing out some of that unwanted snow. Other things to keep in mind while shoveling, you want to take frequent breaks to recharge your body. And also, make sure you stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

 

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