The American Heart Association is warning people who may be at risk for a heart attack during snow shoveling to take extra precautions.
According to a press release, people can be more at risk during snow shoveling because of the colder temperatures combined with the physical exertion of shoveling snow. The extra strain can sometimes cause a heart attack.
The AHA offers the following tips to help avoid heart attacks during snow shoveling:
Consult a doctor first, especially if you do not exercise regularly or you have a medical condition.
Take breaks often during snow shoveling.
Avoid eating a big or heavy meal right before or right after shoveling snow.
Don’t drink alcohol right before or right after shoveling snow.
Dress in layers and wear a hat to prevent hypothermia.
Use a smaller shovel to avoid lifting too much snow, which can raise blood pressure. Alternatively, consider a snow thrower.
Call 9-1-1 if you experience signs of a heart attack, including uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that goes away and comes back or lasts for more than a few minutes; pain in the shoulders, necks and arms; and chest discomfort accompanied by nausea, shortness of breath, sweating, lightheadness and fainting.
For more information about heart health, visit www.americanheart.org.