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Shoveling Out Snow Could Pose Health Risk To Some, Ridgefield

A man pushes a snowblower at a Ridgefield apartment complex on Prospect Street Thursday afternoon. The hard work could be dangerous for anyone who is not fit or has a history of heart disease.
A man pushes a snowblower at a Ridgefield apartment complex on Prospect Street Thursday afternoon. The hard work could be dangerous for anyone who is not fit or has a history of heart disease. Photo Credit: Donna Christopher

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Ridgefield residents heading out late in the day to shovel out their driveways or sidewalks might want to keep this in mind: unless you're abundantly fit, pay someone to clear the snow for you.

Shoveling can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically, and so can pushing a heavy snowblower full throttle. Anyone with a history of heart disease or inactive should not shovel unless a doctor tells them they are safe to do so, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health website.

The hard work can also cause injury to your back, so protect it by lifting correctly. The DPH offers among shoveling tips:

Correct lifting includes lifting with your knees and keeping the load close to your body.

It is also important to avoid twisting motions when moving. Instead, reposition your feet to a better position before dumping snow.

Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.

Shovel only fresh snow. Freshly fallen, powdery snow is easier to shovel than the wet, packed-down variety.

Push the snow as you shovel. It's easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.

Read more about the dangers on the Connecticut Department of Health website here.

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