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Everything listed under: Shoveling

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    How to Fight the Winter Blues (Hint, It’s Not By Shoveling)

    This time of year can be bleak, boring, and definitely cold. Getting out and about seems all but impossible with the frigid temps and whipping winds. 

    Each time the seasons change, we need to be reminded of fun activities we can do to keep busy this winter - even outdoors. We are Minnesotans, after all.


    1.     Get Your Vitamin D

    Less sunshine means less vitamin D in the body, a critical vitamin not only for absorbing calcium and regulating the immune system, but one that has been linked to mood. Doctors in our climate recommend between 1,000 IU and 10,000 IU per day to bring vitamin D levels to normal. This also applies to children and infants, so pick up a bottle of chewable vitamin D tablets or liquid supplements for the little ones.


    2.     Exercise

    Psychologists (and fitness buffs alike) have seen a connection between exercise and improved mood. Raising your heart rate for 30 minutes a day releases dopamine and enhances mood, while practices like yoga and pilates can rejuvenate the body. Plus, you certainly won’t feel the winter chill when you’re in a heated, 80-degree yoga studio or cycling through a 60 minute spinning class! Try these mood-boosting exercise ideas to begin.


    3.     Stimulate Your Senses with Color and Music

    Sometimes this time of the year gives people what they call “a case of the blahs.” So go the opposite of “blah” by wearing bright colors and listening (and moving) to upbeat music.

    Color therapy expert Constance Hart says, “Color has an effect on our psyche, it’s always affecting us whether we are aware of it or not…In my work I try to help people move away from black because it can have a depressive quality to it.” You could also consider painting your office, purchasing some bright artwork, or swapping out your grey winter parka for a bright red one. It may just give your mood the boost you need.

    Turn on your favorite playlists and sing or dance along to instantly feel lighter. The American Music Therapy Association finds that “music therapy programs can be designed to achieve goals such as managing stress, enhancing memory, and alleviating pain.” Whether your go-to jams are Mozart or Motown Philly, happy music can alleviate bad moods.


    4.     Watch for Warm(ish) Days and Get Outside

    On those days where the temperature climbs and the sun shines, use the opportunity to get outside for a walk, a jog, or some winter ice skating or sledding. The fresh air, exercise, and sunlight are a trio of mood-boosting stimulants.


    5.     Simulate Dawn or Use a Light Box

    Many people living in northern climates experience seasonal affective disorder, a yearly feeling of slight depression, tiredness, or winter blues. Combat this feeling with a light therapy lamp, like a happy light, which simulates sunlight and helps your general mood. Dawn simulators slowly turn up the light to naturally help you awaken during those darkest winter mornings.


    The best way to combat the winter blues by letting us take the most undesirable winter task off your hands: shoveling and snow blowing. You don’t have to call us each time you need us; Ehlinger Lawn Service sends snow crews each time there’s a snow accumulation of 1” or more. 

    Pay one flat fee for the entire winter, and consider this crossed off your list. Now you can enjoy more time with friends and family and less time pacing your driveway pushing a shovel or snow blower.

    We hope you find ways to not only get through but enjoy the winter months in Minnesota. Contact us to get help with your winter snow blowing so that you can spend more time enjoying the things you love, whether you’re in a red parka or not!

     

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    The Hidden Dangers of Shoveling Snow

    Shoveling snow may not seem like a dangerous activity, but surprisingly enough, it can be deadly.

    Cardiologists agree that individuals who have certain conditions may be putting themselves at an increased risk for a heart attack by shoveling snow during the winter months.

    Why Does this Happen?

    Colder temperatures increase the risk of blood clotting due to the narrowing of blood vessels which allows less oxygen to travel to the heart. This is especially problematic when paired with the rise in blood pressure and the physical strain to the body that happens during shoveling.

     

    Who Has the Highest Risk?

    Individuals who fit any of the following criteria may be at high risk for triggering a heart attack:

    • Cardiovascular disease
    • History of heart attacks
    • History of heart disease
    • Heart stent
    • Bypass surgery
    • Peripheral arterial disease
    • Sedentary Lifestyle
    • Smoking
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol

    If you qualify for any of these factors, please talk to your doctor before shoveling snow. Based on your doctor’s recommendations, consider asking a friend, relative, or neighbor to shovel for you. 

    You can also hire a shoveling service to take care of it for you – then you won’t have to think about it again all winter!

     

    How Can I Protect My Heart During Shoveling?

    If you do fit the above criteria and still choose to shovel, be aware of some of the following tips that might help reduce the stress to your heart. 

    Before you Begin Shoveling:

    • Discuss the activity with your doctor and determine if it is safe for you to shovel
    • Blood clots occur most often in the morning, therefore wait a few hours after you wake up before you begin shoveling
    • Avoid large meals before beginning to shovel as some blood will move toward the stomach
    • Walk briefly to warm up your muscles before beginning shoveling
    • Avoid drinking coffee or smoking for one hour before and after shoveling as these substances tend to increase heart rate and blood pressure

    During Snow Shoveling:

    • Choose a smaller shovel that will lighten the load of the snow and space out the strain on your body
    • Shovel slowly – don’t rush yourself and overexert your body
    • Take frequent 15 minute breaks to give your heart rate time to slow down
    • Drink extra water so that your body does not dehydrate
    • Wear layers so that your body does not get too cold or warm and to avoid hypothermia and overheating
    • Wear a hat and scarf to maintain body heat where it is most easily lost
    • Cover your mouth with your scarf to avoid breathing problems related to breathing cold air
    • If you exhibit any warning signs of a heart attack (including lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, or tight pains in your chest, neck, arms or back) stop shoveling immediately and rest. If you believe you are having a heart attack, call 911.


    Let Us Take Care of it For You

    Don’t put yourself at risk; contact us to do your snow removal for you. We visit your home each time there is a snowfall of 1 inch or more, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling an appointment. We also use snow blowers instead of plows, so our services won’t ruin your lawn!

    Visit our website to contact us or receive a free quote.

  • Tips and Tricks for Safely Shoveling Snow

     

    As the weather gets colder, Minnesotans start to get excited about outdoor winter activities. With the promise of snowmobiling, snowmen, and skiing, it is easy to forget about the responsibilities that winter holds, like clearing the snow from driveways and sidewalks. We are here to remind you of some simple shoveling safety tips to remember as winter approaches.

    Technique is Key

    Shoveling snow can be hard on your lower back and arms. To reduce the strain on your body, remember to lift with your legs. Back problems in the winter are mainly caused from shoveling heavy snow. The main technique for preventing these back problems is to pivot and twist your shoulders in line with your hips, this requires less twisting of your spine.

    Move the Snow in Sections

    This winter is predicted to be full of snow that is extra wet and heavy. It is important to move the snow in smaller sections or layers to make it a little easier on your body. You don’t have to dig all the way to the sidewalk in one movement; take your time and work in smaller sections.

    Give Your Body a Break

    Shoveling snow is a strenuous activity that can be hard on your body. Shoveling snow increases your blood pressure and heart rate causing your body to react as if you were working out. This is why it is important to take breaks every 15 minutes. Also making sure to wait at least a half hour after you wake up allows your body to warm up and prepare for the strenuous work.

    Wear Layers

    Don’t let the cold weather get the best of you- wear layers and be sure to keep your mouth and nose covered to prevent you from breathing in the cold air. Be sure to keep your hands and head covered to prevent potential frostbite and windburn. Keep your feet warm with thick socks and slip-resistant boots.

    Listen to Your Body

    Lastly, listen to what your body is telling you. If you need to take a break, do it. The snow isn’t going anywhere, after all! If your muscles ache or your back begins to cramp up, take a longer break and head indoors to let your body recover.

    If the work becomes too much for your body to handle, or you’d just rather have someone else take care of it for you, be sure to contact Ehlinger Lawn Services and forget about snow removal for the rest of the season!