Shovel at Your Own Risk

While New England cities continue to dig out from “the great blizzard of 2015,” shoveling snow may not be the best cardio workout for your heart. According to the American Heart Association, this strenuous activity can significantly increase your chances of having a heart attack.

In a Fox News article, Dr. Marc Gillinov of Cleveland Clinic said those who have coronary artery disease could likely experience a heart attack while shoveling snow. Gillinov also said the cold temperatures themselves can contribute to your risk of a heart attack by causing arteries to tighten and increasing blood pressure.

Heart attack risk factors include but are not limited to high cholesterol, peripheral arterial disease and age.

“The common description of heart-related chest pain is ‘pressure,’” Dr. Gillinov said. “People might even say it feels like an elephant is sitting on their chest.”

This season, when you’re shoveling snow, if you feel pressure on your chest, set the shovel down. Take a break from tending to the snow blanket on your driveway, and go find a warmer blanket inside.

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