While the Treasure Valley may have started the month behind the typical winter snowfall, Mother Nature has quickly made up for it in the first two weeks of January. An average winter in Boise means roughly 20 inches of snow. After a record snowfall over the weekend, we surpassed 20 inches just 90 days into the season.

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Snow has some real advantages. Idahoans love to play on four-wheelers, snowboards, skis, sleds, tubes, and more in the snow. It can also mean days off of school and work for some of us. For others, it means stress. Whether from personal experiences, watching too many videos about accidents, avalanches, and other snow-related disasters, or just irrational fear, chionophobia is real. Ten percent of Idahoans suffer from some type of weather phobia, and the fear of snow is in the top five.

For elderly adults, that fear is justified. Shoveling snow is as physically demanding as high-intensity aerobic exercise. For someone who isn't exercising regularly, this can be highly taxing. The psychological stress from the cold temperatures, in addition to the snow shoveling, can dramatically increase the heart rate.

Over 12,000 people were taken to the emergency room for shoveling-related incidents each year. Half of those are soft tissue injuries, and a significant number led to cardiac-related deaths. With so many elderly in Idaho having underlying heart conditions, you can see how dangerous the snow can be.

The NextDoor app recently launched its HelpMap for vulnerable adults to ask for help shoveling snow. It's also a place for able-bodied adults and teenagers to make extra money by helping those who need it. If you want to sign up to help or need someone to help take care of the snow shoveling at your place, click HERE.

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Boise's First Snowfall Date Over the Past Decade

Stats based on data from the National Weather Service. In order to be considered the date of the first snowfall, Boise needed to receive at least .1" of snow.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

7 of Idaho's Most Epic Snow Tubing Adventures Ranked Shortest to Longest

If you measure a tubing hill's "epicness" by how long the run is, these are the best of the best in Idaho!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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