Are You Healthy Enough to Shovel?

Are You Healthy Enough to Shovel?

Necessity, common courtesy, and Calgary snow management bylaws all dictate that you get out there and shovel or blow shortly after the snow stops accumulating. Some may find that shovelling is not much of a chore but most don’t.

First there is that whole bundling up in layers ordeal. Sweating while doing outdoor work in freezing temperatures increases your chances of developing hypothermia. In short, sweat against your skin anywhere it is exposed to the cold weather chills you at a much faster clip than when you are dry. When you are wet and chilled, you do your immune system no favours.

Not getting wet in the freezing weather, either from the environment, or from your own body’s cooling system, requires forethought. You should use a moisture wicking base layer from head to toe. When possible, choose to wear synthetics, silk, or wool while strenuously working outdoors in winter. The wisest course is to use multiple layers of clothing to create more numerous trapped air pockets that will keep your body temperature and caloric burn rate in harmony with the conditions. Then if you need to fine tune the balance between keeping warm and keeping dry, you can shed or add back layers as needed to not sweat.

Staying Warm and Dry Isn’t Enough

Snow removal has seriously injured and even caused death over the years. The leading cause of injuries and death from snow removal is from cardiac arrest. No one has to suffer from a full blown heart attack to become seriously injured in this way. A brief spell of exertion related lightheadedness can be enough of a problem to topple you over.

A sudden bout of snow shovelling can become downright dangerous. It is inadvisable to go from working in an office all year and relaxing most weekends, to the marathon of explosive body movements that snow removal requires following a significant storm. Even if you take frequent breaks, if you aren’t fit, or suffer from hypertension, you will likely be overtaxing your heart’s current physical ability to supply your suddenly hard working muscles with ample oxygenated blood. Taking such a toll on yourself can lead to angina, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, and lightheadedness or dizziness, if it doesn’t lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Be Safe, Take It Easy, Use Proper Equipment

It takes only a few moments to stretch the muscles you will use to shovel snow, so take that time. If you are feeling exhausted, take a couple of minutes, when needed, to slow your heart rate back down. Make sure you have chosen your shovel wisely and always use it with the proper technique.

Snow removal is strenuous and difficult work. Mirage Landscaping makes it look easy because we are conditioned to perform the work through years of manual labouring in all weather.

Don’t fight the elements on your own. Contract with Mirage Landscaping of Calgary for professional commercial or residential snow removal services and ice mitigation.


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