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Health Tips: Best Way to Shovel Snow

Henry Ford doctor gives Grosse Pointe residents tips on how to clear snow.

Emmanuel Dizon, M.D., physician-in-charge, Henry Ford Medical Center-East Jefferson, offers the following tips for Grosse Pointe residents to properly remove snow.

Know your limits

Dr. Dizon recommends for residents to know their limits when shoveling snow.

"It is physically demanding work," he said. "We don’t normally get this much snow at once."

For those who are young and healthy, they need to be mindful of muscle or joint injuries when shoveling. They should also be careful to not fall while shoveling.

Senior citizens, or those who are sedentary, are at risk of a heart attack because "they don't realize how strenuous shoveling snow can be."

Even if residents have a snow-blower, it still can be a strenuous activity that could be hazardous to residents who are not physically active.

"If you are not physically active, I would try to avoid shoveling snow and get someone else," Dizon said.

Use Proper Techniques

When shoveling, residents should dress warmly and wear proper gloves, footwear and headwear to avoid frostbite.

"At times you are working hard, you don't realize you are having problems," he said. "You are warm, but your extremities are feeling the effects of frostbite."

Dizon recommends snow shovelers to bend their knees and avoid twisting or lifting snow. Snow should be pushed if possible.

"It is better to take a little at a time than to take one huge chunk at once," he said. "You think you are saving time and you could injure your back."

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