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American Heart Association offers tips to avoid heart attacks during shoveling

The American Heart Association has some tips to help avoid heart attacks during snow shoveling.
Posted on Dec. 28, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Dec. 28, 2012 at 11:23 a.m.

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:

Ÿ Consult a doctor first, especially if you do not exercise regularly or you have a medical condition.

Ÿ Take breaks often during snow shoveling.

Ÿ Avoid eating a big or heavy meal right before or right after shoveling snow.

Ÿ Don’t drink alcohol right before or right after shoveling snow.

Ÿ Dress in layers and wear a hat to prevent hypothermia.

Ÿ Use a smaller shovel to avoid lifting too much snow, which can raise blood pressure. Alternatively, consider a snow thrower.

Ÿ 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.



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