Wednesday, November 26, 2014

American Heart Association offers tips to avoid heart attacks during 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.