Snow’s Here, Shovelers Beware

It’s pretty certain that Central New York will have a fair amount of cold, snowy weather these next few months.

For most people, that means taxing snow-shoveling sessions. And for those who wish to continue their regular outdoor fitness routines of walking (with or without a dog) and running, that means muscle-chilling, icy conditions.

A recent article in California mountain town Lake Arrowhead’s Mountain News outlines the many ways a typical person’s body is unprepared for the physical harshness of winter. The physical therapy manager of their local hospital cites injuries from falls on ice and back pain from snow shoveling as two common occurrences during this time.

Keep in mind as you’re seeing patients this winter, to remind them:

  1. That warming up properly before heading out to walk, run or shovel will protect against the muscle tightening and joint stress that comes with exposure to cold air. Self-massage prior to these activities helps increase circulation and muscle heat ahead of activity.

  2. Using proper technique and lifting from the legs and not the back will ease pain from shoveling. Targeted compression sleeves and braces can keep ankle and knee joints in better alignment.

  3. All-season shoes with deep lugs or other ice/cold-combating technologies can provide better traction on slippery surfaces.

Fleet Feet Sports, Syracuse’s staff is equipped to advise your patients on how to stay healthy and safe during the blustery months. The store is stocked with shoes, massage, compression and other products to help.

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