January- February 2022

New Year’s resolution working out, question for our early intervention specialist?


As an early intervention specialist, I get this question multiple times around this time of year…

What are some good exercises to do as part of my resolution I want to get in good shape and lose weight?


  • Start small start with things that you can achieve so that you stay consistent.
  • Get in a routine once you find things that work for you continue to do it.
  • Always stretch pre and post work out.
  • As far as exercise start with low weight high repetition this builds lean muscle.
  • Cardio, do what works. Example if you have poor knees don’t use a treadmill rely on other things such as elliptical, bicycle, or calisthenics.
  • With strengthening do equal strengthening to keep your body in balance. Example: if you work your biceps and chest make sure you also work your triceps and upper back. This will create a muscle balance which has positive affects including better posture. Better posture leads to better circulation and decreases risk of injury.

Ergonomic Solutions

Be aware of how your EE’s are standing. Forward head posture causes a decrease in blood flow to the arms which puts EE’s at risk of injury. Encourage EE’s to stand with ears lined up with shoulders to assure appropriate neck and head posture.

Encourage EE’s to work between chest and hip height and as close to the body as possible. This reduces stress on shoulders and low back decreasing risk of injury.

When lifting keep shoulder and neck back while dropping butt toward the ground. The step most often skipped is keeping chest and head back while squatting. You still have potential of back injury when squatting if you let your chest and head fall forward.

Encourage EE’s to put one leg up to decompress spine with prolonged standing. Doing this takes stress off of the back and decreases risk of injury.


Why do People Die Shoveling Snow?

Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, SnOMG!

There is no end to the terms for “really big snowstorm,” and those terms came in handy, particularly in America’s snowiest cities. Just check out these average annual snowfall totals, according to the Weather Channel:

Boonville, N.Y. – 193.5 inches
Lead, S.D. – 200.8 inches
Truckee, CA – 202.6 inches
Hancock, MI – 211.9 inches
Crested Butte, CO – 215.3 inches
Valdez, AK – 326.3 inches

But with really big snow storms – and even everyday, run-of-the-mill snowfalls – comes a risk of death by shoveling. Nationwide, snow shoveling is responsible for thousands of injuries and as many as 100 deaths each year.

So, why so many deaths? Shoveling snow is just another household chore, right?

Not really, says the American Heart Association. While most people won’t have a problem, shoveling snow can put some people at risk of heart attack. Sudden exertion, like moving hundreds of pounds of snow after being sedentary for several months, can put a big strain on the heart. Pushing a heavy snow blower also can cause injury.

And, there’s the cold factor. Cold weather can increase heart rate and blood pressure. It can make blood clot more easily and constrict arteries, which decreases blood supply. This is true even in healthy people. Individuals over the age of 40 or who are relatively inactive should be particularly careful.

National Safety Council recommends the following tips to shovel safely:

  • Do not shovel after eating or while smoking
  • Take it slow and stretch out before you begin
  • Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it’s lighter
  • Push the snow rather than lifting it
  • If you do lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion
  • Know the signs of a heart attack, and stop immediately and call 911 if you’re experiencing any of them; every minute counts

Don’t pick up that shovel without a doctor’s permission if you have a history of heart disease. A clear driveway is not worth your life.

Snow Blower Safety

In addition to possible heart strain from pushing a heavy snow blower, be safe with tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, including:

  • If the blower jams, turn it off
  • Keep your hands away from the moving parts
  • Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space
  • Add fuel outdoors, before starting, and never add fuel when it is running
  • Never leave it unattended when it is running

Source: https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/winter/snow-shoveling