Shovel Safely

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You know to bend from the knees and not the waist. But also keep in mind these lesser-known tips for healthy snow shoveling from Lehigh Valley Health Network family medicine doctor Kate Mitchell, DO.

Have coffee or tea after, not before. “Caffeine constricts blood flow and oxygen to muscles, potentially increasing the risk for a heart attack while shoveling,” Mitchell says.

Start with a small shovel. A light initial load increases blood flow and warms muscles so they’re less likely to tighten and spasm.

Drink water. “Even in the cold, you’re still sweating,” Mitchell says. “Staying hydrated replaces lost fluid.”