There’s no denying with the recent drop in temperature that winter is indeed coming, and if predictions are correct, it may be a heavy snowfall season for many regions. While it probably seems too early to be thinking about winter weather with so much autumn splendour yet to enjoy, popular items like snow shovels and blowers sell out quickly and may be hard to find when you really need them! Although heavy snow can be hazardous for older adults to remove by themselves, an ergonomic snow shovel can make snow removal less arduous.
According to a new Popular Science report, the best snow shovels for seniors in 2022 are designed to ease the strain on backs, joints and muscles. Look for a shovel with a curved handle and a wide, lightweight blade. Some models even have wheels that allow the user to push a wide swath of lightweight snow; others have a second spring-assisted handle to reduce the risk of back injury.
Elderly adults who have mobility problems or an underlying health condition like cardiovascular disease should leave the shovelling or snow blowing to someone else. Shovelling can be an intense physical activity and can lead to injury, especially for people who are not fit and used to strenuous exercise. If you must shovel, stretch before heading outdoors, dress in layers, and wear sturdy, grippy boots. Take frequent breaks and avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages before or during shovelling.
If you are expecting a heavy snowfall, don’t wait to shovel until the snow has finished accumulating. It’s much easier on the back, and the heart, to shovel several times a day while snow is light and easier to lift, but always use your legs rather than your back, and push snow whenever possible. Waiting overnight can result in heavier loads, and snow may even become icy and harder to remove.
If you are in relatively good shape, snow shovelling can be an enjoyable way to get some exercise and spend time outdoors. Watch out for any icy spots, and have ice melter granules on hand for slippery areas. For more snow shovelling tips, follow this link to the Mayo Clinic News Network.