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A Chiropractor's Guide to Surviving a Snowstorm

Living in Saratoga Springs just about guarantees at least one snowstorm each winter. When this happens, you may find yourself shoveling snow, running inside or packing your gear to head to the mountain. Whether you’re dreading the snow or dreaming of it, check out this chiropractic guide to staying healthy for any snowstorm.

Shoveling

Shoveling snow is hard to avoid during a big storm. Whether you’re just cleaning off your sidewalk or clearing your driveway, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The green outlines posterior and anterior oblique slings. The muscle system that is dominant when doing rotational activity. These can be easily overworked on one side when shoveling.

  • Timing

    Most people end up shoveling in the morning. If that is the case, don’t roll out of bed, throw on your clothes and head outside. Shoveling is strenuous work and a proper warm up is required. Even if that means waiting for 10 minutes and just doing some basic stretches to get your body loose.

    We also recommend that you don’t eat right before you shovel. You will be moving close to 100 pounds of snow every minute. That requires a great deal of effort from your body. As with any exercise, your heart rate raises to deliver oxygen to your tiring muscles. Eating a big meal also requires an increase in heart rate and pulls blood away from the heart to aid in digestion. There are many cases of people suffering heart attacks from eating right before shoveling. Just because you’re using your snow blower doesn’t mean you’re out of the clear either. Physical stress is physical stress, your heart doesn’t know the difference.

  • Mechanics

    The way you shovel can increase your risk of injury, especially if the snow is heavy. Make sure to bend your knees, keep the shovel close to you and move your feet. It is also beneficial to switch sides that you hold the shovel on. I know this may feel strange but it will help you build balance and strength and take let one group of muscles rest while another is working.

    If you are looking for that perfect shovel and are confused about the different options, check out our post “Picking the Perfect Snow Shovel”.

Winter Sports

  • Dress warm

    Whether you’ll be building a snowman or hitting the slopes, it is important to have the proper clothing to keep you warm. Make sure you dress in layers. Dressing in layers traps a thin amount of air that can be heated by your body to further keep you warm. Multiple layers also helps keep you dry by adding additional protection against melting snow.

  • keep your neck covered

    When the temperature drops, the natural reaction is to tilt your head down and put your mouth and nose in your jacket. This will warm the air entering your mouth and keep your core warm. The problem is this can lead to a great deal of neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches. So instead, make sure you wear something to keep your neck and face warm, and practice good posture.

  • Stay hydrated

    The last, but certainly not least piece of advice, is to stay hydrated. Our bodies use water to regulate temperature. In the summer months, it is easier to tell when we are getting dehydrated but when you are cold, symptoms can be less obvious. Most people choose to get a warm beverage like coffee during colder months. It is important to note that coffee is a diuretic and that water needs to be replaced. If you drink coffee, make sure to consume double the amount of water as coffee that you drank.

Saratoga Springs transforms into a magical place after a snowstorm. At Turning Point Chiropractic, we hear the good and not-so-good impacts of snow. If you find yourself in pain, don’t make the mistake of waiting to get treated. Taking care of yourself is the only way to ensure you will enjoy all that winter has to offer. If you have any questions, give us a call. We are here to help!

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