Snow-shoveling health tips as winter looms - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Snow-shoveling health tips as winter looms

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com / Mladen Cvjeticanin © iStockphoto.com / Mladen Cvjeticanin
  • What's Going AroundMore>>

  • What's Going Around - April 16th

    What's Going Around - April 16th

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:16 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:16:33 GMT
    Sinus infections are going around this week. Nurse Practitioner Christy Johnson from Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Family Medicine says, "A sinus infection is inflammation or swelling of your sinuses. WhenMore >>
    A sinus infection can make a person feel miserable. More >>
  • What's Going Around - April 2nd

    What's Going Around - April 2nd

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 11:29 AM EDT2014-04-02 15:29:17 GMT
    It's allergy season, and a lot of patients are struggling right now. Dr. Brian Shaheen from Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Family Medicine says symptoms of allergies include: Congestion Clear nasal dischargeMore >>
    The first signs of pollen also signal the start of allergy season. More >>

SATURDAY, Dec. 14, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Shoveling snow can increase your risk of heart attack, and you should take precautions to protect yourself, an expert says.

"When the temperature outside drops, our blood vessels narrow to prevent our bodies from losing heat," Dr. Holly Andersen, director of education and outreach at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said in a hospital news release. "This is a natural response that can also put people with heart conditions and those involved in strenuous exercise at greater risk of having a heart attack."

Andersen said shoveling snow is one of the most strenuous and dangerous winter activities. It can boost blood pressure and, combined with the effects of frigid temperatures, can significantly increase heart attack risk.

Andersen offered the following advice for safe shoveling and good heart health this winter:

- Warm up with stretching and light activity before shoveling, exercising or beginning other strenuous activities.

- Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose when you're shoveling snow to warm the air you're breathing.

- Layer clothes beneath a windproof and waterproof outer shell, which will help maintain body heat.

- Push the snow rather than lift it. This will reduce the risk of overexertion.

- Take frequent breaks while shoveling to give your muscles -- especially your heart -- a chance to relax.

- Try sharing the workload with a friend, which will also ensure that you are not alone in case of an emergency.

- If you are over 50, overweight, out of shape or have suffered a heart attack, consult your doctor before shoveling snow or starting any exercise routine.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more about winter health and safety.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.