Stay Warm and Healthy in the Snow

Read these winter weather tips before you go out into the cold

from Stealth Health

9. Dress in layers, and make your first layer a shirt or long underwear made of synthetic microfibers, such as polypropylene. These wick sweat away from the body so you don’t get too chilled. Avoid cotton, which gets wet and stays wet. Top your first layer with a fleece top and then a windproof jacket.

10. Equip your car for driving in snowy conditions. That means cleaning snow off the car before you start driving, making sure your windshield wipers work well, cleaning off your headlights, and using snow tires or chains if you need them. And stock your trunk with a shovel, tow rope, ground sheet (for fitting chains), rubber gloves, plastic ice scraper, blanket, and flashlight.

11. If you’re not in shape to shovel, hire a neighborhood kid to do it for you. Shoveling snow is very strenuous work. People who should think twice before doing it are those with a history of heart disease, heart attack, or high blood pressure.

12. Stretch for five minutes and walk outside for 5-10 minutes before you start shoveling. Here are some other shoveling tips:

  • Drink plenty of water so that you’re well hydrated. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol, or use nicotine products immediately before shoveling.
  • Shovel early and often. Newly fallen snow is lighter than heavily packed or partially melted snow. And starting out early allows you extra time to take frequent breaks.
  • Take your time. Never remove deep snow all at once. Shovel a layer that’s an inch or two thick and then take off another inch or two.
  • Pick the right shovel. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body.
  • Protect your back with good shoveling technique. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart for balance, and keep the shovel close to your body. Bend from the knees, not the back, and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Avoid twisting movements. If you need to move the snow to one side, reposition your body so your feet face the direction the snow will be going. Always throw the snow in front of you, not over your shoulder.
  • Listen to your body. If you experience any shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest discomfort, stop immediately and seek medical care.