With record amounts of snow already this season and more of the same on the way, doctors are urging common sense when going to remove it. Each year, tens of thousands of people are sent to the hospital suffering from a heart attack while shoveling snow. Experts said some of the best tips are to take frequent breaks and pay attention to how your body is reacting while shoveling. You’re also advised not to eat a large meal before heading outside, which can create extra strain on your heart.
Doctors also said to avoid alcohol use before and after shoveling because the alcohol can cause you to underestimate how cold you actually are. We talked with a doctor about what it is about winter weather that overworks your heart.
“I think we overlook the amount of work that it takes to move snow. You talked about the cold weather, that, plus if you’re dealing with the wet snow and the weight of the snow adds to the amount of work that you’re putting on your body,” said Brittany Kudrna, family nurse practitioner at CHI St. Alexius. Experts said a cubic foot of snow can easily weight 20 pounds, something the body is not used to moving over and over again. If you feel anything out of the ordinary while shoveling, you’re urged to call 911.
Visit your family medicine provider to learn how you can prevent injuries from shoveling snow this winter.
Robert Suhr Reporting