Issue 5 Stories
Improve Health Everyday

After a Snowstorm, Be Careful With Your Heart

Shoveling snow puts tremendous stress on the body, including the heart. As a result, shoveling-related heart attacks are all-too-common occurrences after a snowstorm. In fact, as many as 100 people in the U.S. die each year while shoveling snow, according to the National Safety Council. Shoveling can be especially dangerous if you’re out of shape, have a fairly sedentary lifestyle, are overweight, smoke or have a heart condition.

While most injuries associated with shoveling snow involve the lower back, those involving the heart can be far more serious. Be good to yourself during and after a snowstorm by following these tips:

•     As much as possible, push the snow—don’t lift it.

•     If you must lift the snow, lift with your legs, not your back.

•     Use a small, lightweight shovel, or only half-fill a large shovel. Plastic shovels weigh less than metal ones.

•     Take your time, and don’t push yourself. Take rest breaks every 15-20 minutes.

•     Try to keep up with the snowfall. It’s easier to move smaller amounts of snow periodically throughout a snowstorm than to wait until it’s over and move all the snow at once.

•     Don’t eat, smoke or drink alcohol while shoveling.

•    Stay hydrated by drinking water while shoveling.

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