(BPT) - A full patch of undisturbed snow can be one of the most beautiful sights of winter — unless, of course, that patch is covering your driveway or sidewalk. Then, it’s tough to see it as anything other than an annoying chore — and a potentially dangerous one at that.
Research shows that roughly 100 people die every year while shoveling snow and many of them die because of cardiovascular-related issues such as heart attacks. To keep yourself and your family healthy during the snowiest months of the year, apply these tips before tackling your own winter wonderland.
* Pace yourself. This can be tough as it probably requires a fair amount of motivation to get you outside in the first place, but many injuries come from overexertion. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself while shoveling is to deal with lighter loads of snow. This means going out and shoveling multiple times — with breaks in between — instead of waiting until it’s all fallen and twice as heavy.
* Stay hydrated. Shoveling is more than just a chore, it’s a workout and you should treat it as such. Take frequent water breaks — every 20 minutes or so — and then return to your work. Your body will appreciate the rest as well as the ability to warm up.
* Have the right equipment. The surest way to erase any snow shoveling concerns is to leave the shovel behind in favor of a more dependable solution. Husqvarna snow blowers are specifically designed to effortlessly relocate snow from your driveway or sidewalk while navigating deeper snow and slippery surfaces with ease. With its easy start-up and 180-degree tight turning options, taking care of your snowfall has never been simpler or safer.
* Let the machine do the work. When you’re using your snow blower, take advantage of its controls and allow the machine to steer and turn on its own instead of trying to physically shove it into the position you want. Today’s snow blowers have more options than ever before, so don’t expose yourself to needless risks trying to move your machine through brute force for no reason.
* Pay attention to snow type. When it comes to snow, not all snow is created equal. Light, powdery snow is removed much more easily than its wet, heavier counterpart. If your property is covered with wet snow, avoid shoveling it at all or, if you must, do so in small loads. If you are using your snow blower, go slowly to give the machine more time to thoroughly remove the heavy snow from your property.
If you live in a northern climate, dealing with snow is a fact of life. But it shouldn’t be a matter of life and death. By investing in the right equipment and following the tips above, there’s no reason you can't enjoy a safe, happy and snow-controlled winter season. To learn more about Husqvarna’s line of snow blowers, visit Husqvarna.com.