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Snow shoveling increases the chance of heart attack

Several inches of snow have fallen over the past few days and may cause cars to get stuck on the highway or even in a parking lot. Before you grab a shovel to get that snow out of the way, you may want to consider your health.

Health experts say the cold weather is a significant contributor to snow shoveling, causing a heart attack. The low temperatures increase blood pressure, interrupt blood flow to part of the heart, and make blood more likely to form clots. This mainly affects those who do not exercise regularly.

“The problem is, in the wintertime, most of us have not been going to the gym as we should. just getting out there in that sudden activity is certainly very strenuous on the heart,” said Michael Revelle, Medical Director at Jackson General Hospital.

Snow shoveling is arduous because it uses arm work which is more complicated than leg work. If you have to remove snow from your driveway or around your wheels, do not do it all at once.

“You want to take shifts obviously. Don’t try and do it in all one fell swoop because when we have 6,7,8 inches of snow. It will take a while,” Glenn Weaver, Physicians Assistant for Christ Community Health Services.

And warming up before will reduce the chances of having a heart attack.

“So don’t do it first thing in the morning. Stretch really good, warm-up gets the blood flowing.”

The staff at Christ Community Health Services and Jackson General Hospital also advise residents to stay hydrated during these low temperatures to reduce strain on the heart.

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