Heart Attacks and Broken Backs: The SCARY Dangers of Shoveling Snow

NEVER Shovel Snow Again..

If you live anywhere that gets snow even semi-frequently you need to read the rest of this article. We will be addressing a couple of the most dangerous things about shoveling snow that are never discussed in the world. In fact, the dangers are so severe that by paying attention to everything mentioned in the article, you will hopefully avoid a trip to the emergency room.

Snow Shoveling Dangers

What’s so dangerous about shoveling snow? It’s all in the nature of the activity. Shoveling snow is an extremely vigorous activity that strains your muscles, heart, and body quite a bit. Most people aren’t very well conditioned to physical activity in general, making this an incredibly challenging thing to expose your body to. In fact, for those who are sedentary, shoveling snow can cause MAJOR health complications in two main ways to your body.

Muscle Pulls/ Strains

If you have ever gone out and shoveled snow for a long enough time, you may have pulled muscles in your neck, shoulder, and even your back. “That’s why I don’t workout,” you might mutter to yourself, blaming the act of shoveling for the reason you threw your back out. Unfortunately, this doesn’t address the main issue, in that your body is not strong enough to handle the load of shoveling for that long of time. If you think about doing any exercise in the gym, you often have to build up months of practicing a movement, before you build enough strength to do it multiple times without injury. If you are typically sedentary, and decide to shovel hundreds of pounds of snow, don’t be surprised if your body starts barking at you in pain when finished.

Heart Attacks

When it comes to shoveling snow, there is a huge risk to having a heart attack if you are not conditioned appropriately. This is because shoveling snow is almost parallel to jogging when it comes to demands put on your heart. If you are someone who has high blood pressure this is especially a concern for you. This is because your blood vessels vasoconstrict or get smaller, to help you keep warm. Unfortunately, this also can increase your blood pressure tremendously. Someone who has high blood pressure, is sedentary, and is attempting to do vigorous activity like shoveling is asking to have a heart attack. I would never recommend someone who is completely sedentary to jog for one hour on there first workout, due to the fact that their heart isn’t strong enough to handle this. Shoveling a driveway and sidewalk can often last this long, making it a prime time for a cardiac event to occur.

What Can You Do?

Manage Your Volume and Load

One of the most common ways that I recommend people to go about working out, to reduce the risk of injury, is to manage both the load and volume of the exercise. This may sound confusing, but when we apply it to shoveling snow, it becomes quite clear. Simply do a little less load (amount of snow you are shoveling) when actually scooping the snow, and shorten the duration of your shoveling (shovel for a shorter amount of time.) You might need to take more breaks than you would like or feel like you need. This is where you need to check your ego and remind yourself of where your current fitness level is at. Of course, to avoid this in the future, I would highly recommend to implement an exercise program into your daily routine. Luckily, I created a great one that you can follow, below.

Not So Fast!

If you enjoyed this article, I need to make sure that you subscribe to our blog, which helps individuals of all physical abilities navigate through the gym, health, and fitness industry. Otherwise, you might be interested in this other article I created, addressing the DANGERS of lifting weights for seniors.

The Truth About Weight Training for Seniors: Is It Actually Harmful?

Seniors and Weight Training Seniors should not weight train and lift weights because it is incredibly dangerous for them to do so. This is something that many people say to me. Some are everyday people, some are seniors, and some are even fitness professionals. I’m going to clear up all of that today, and address…

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