Just when you thought winter was over and spring was on the horizon Mother Nature decides to give one more blow to the the Fox Valley and Chicagoland area.
Forecasters are calling for upwards of 10 inches throughout the area with many school children enjoying a snow day.
The 2012-2013 has been a mild winter as far as snow fall goes so you may need a reminder of tips to stay healthy during these late winter snowy days.
1) Do not shovel if you have already had a heart attack or if you have a history of heart problems.
2) Avoid caffeine and nicotine before shoveling, these stimulants can increase your heart rate and cause your blood vessels to constrict. This places an extra strain on your already over working heart. Never shovel under the influence of alcohol.
3) Drink plenty of water. As with any exercise it is important to stay hydrated while shoveling.
4) Dress appropriately and in plenty of layers to prevent hypothermia. Being outside for long periods of time decreases your body temperature so bundle up to stay warm.
5) Pick the right shovel. A larger shovel may seem like it can get the job done faster but it can actually cause you injury by tempting you to pick up more snow than you can handle. A smaller blade on your shovel will allow you to only pick up what you can handle.
6) Begin shoveling slowly and warm up your muscles first. Stretching and walking in place can warm up those muscles. You wouldn't jog without warming up first. Shoveling is just as vigorous so be kind to your muscles and warm-up first.
7) LIFT CORRECTLY: Protect your back by lifting correctly. Never stand with your feed past your hips and always bend from the knees and not from your back. Remember to keep stomach muscles tight and keep the shovel close to your body to prevent back strain.
Avoid all twisting movements!
8) Salt walkways and driveways to prevent icy buildup and future slip,trip, and fall accidents.
9) If you have to drive use precaution. Allow more car space between you and the cars in front of you. Keep speeds at or under the minimum, maintain control of steering at all times, make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full, and lights are working.
10) When in doubt don't go out.
Stay healthy and happy and enjoy this late winter snow. I promise spring is around the corner.