Next time you shovel the snow, keep in mind that cold weather poses additional risks to your heart. Remember these important pointers from the American Heart Association for snow shoveling safety!
- Take breaks. Frequent rest breaks during shoveling will help avoid placing too much stress on your heart. Pay attention to how your feel.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
- Use a smaller shovel. Lifting heavy snow can cause sharp rises in blood pressure, instead, lift smaller amounts more times and push the snow when possible.
- Pay attention to heart attack warning signs. Minutes matter! Fast action saves lives!
- Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol increases a person’s sensation feeling of warmth and can lead you to underestimate the extra strain their your body is under.
- Avoid hypothermia. Heart failure is the primary cause of death from hypothermia. Dress in layers of warm clothing, that will trap air between the layers and form a protective insulation. Wear a hat!
The most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort, but women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms. If you experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain, seek medical help immediately!
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