PEORIA - The snow fell non-stop for a few hours on Thursday which means there are quite a few places where snow has piled up.
What does that mean? It's time to pull out those shovels to clear driveways and yards.
However, if you're not careful, experts say shoveling snow can have risks
Doug Bennett is a parking deck attendant in downtown Peoria, and when it snows his job takes a whole new meaning.
"Oh yea, we do most of the snow shoveling down here. We do the museum, all around the museum, all the parking decks have to be done," Bennett said.
That's a lot of snow to move around, and Bennett says the work load can easily pile up.
"You don't even realize it a lot of times. You'll be working and the next thing you know, you'll just be so wore out," he said.
Doctors are warning people to be careful. Eric Sparks, a lead physical therapist at Methodist Medical Center, says shoveling snow is like any kind of lifting. It can increase blood pressure and put stress on the body, which can lead to heart attacks if there's over exertion. According to Sparks, it's important to manage your energy.
"A lot of people think, we'll shovel when the snow stops, and that way only have to do it once. Well now your snow has piled up and you a lot more of a load to move. So it's better for your body to go out frequently and do smaller loads," he said.
That's what Bennett plans to do. He's taking plenty of breaks and staying warm. Besides he'll be shoveling snow all night.
"Oh I've been looking forward to it all day. I love this," he said.
Here are a few tips:
If you have a history of heart or back problems, check with your doctor first. When you get tired or feel tightness in your chest, stop.
Remember, shoveling snow can be a workout, so stretch beforehand and stay hydrated.
Maintain proper shoveling technique. Keep your back straight, push the snow and refrain from twisting your body.
Also, ask a neighbor for help.