Use your snow shovel properly to avoid getting hurt

Dr. Helfand: If you have a heart condition, you should not be shoveling.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – “When we have a snowstorm like this, when there’s a lot of water in it, the snow gets really heavy,” said Dr. Ira Helfand of Family Care Medical Center.

Western Massachusetts is bracing for snow, and in the lower Pioneer Valley, the snow will be mixed with rain, which makes it heavier and more dangerous.

“A big snow shovel full of really heavy snow weighs a lot and it puts a lot of strain on your back,” said Dr. Helfand. “It’s very important first of all to take a small shovel full, and secondly to be careful when you’re lifting it. Bend from the knees when you’re lifting it, not from your back like we’re always told. “

Dr. Helfand said the stress of shoveling doesn’t just put your back at risk, it can put your heart at risk; “It’s a classic situation for people to have a heart attack. People who are out of condition, who aren’t used to doing any physical work.”

That’s why Dr. Helfand said if you have a heart condition, or any problem with your heart, you should not be shoveling. And for everyone else, go slow, take breaks and don’t overdo it.

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