There are those of you who love winter and all that comes with it, and then there are those of us who don't love moving all that piles up this time of year. More importantly, there are those of you who need to be very careful with your ticker while tackling snow.
Heart Health and Shoveling is our Avera Medical Minute.
Not only can all of this winter white be a pain to move, it could also be taxing on your heart, especially if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and are a smoker.
Dr. John Jerstad works in the Emergency Department at the Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota. He says without fail, he treats people every winter who suffer heart attacks while shoveling.
Dr. Jerstad says, "Shoveling can be a stress test for people. If you get chest pains, shortness of breath, nausea, or you start sweating then that should be the time to quit and get evaluated."
Dr. Jerstad says 15 minutes of shoveling is considered moderate exercise, (we should all be getting 30 minutes of that a day any way) but when that snow is heavy scooping becomes vigorous and that's when it's troubling for your ticker if you are predisposed to heart disease.
Dr. Jerstad says, "The change from warm to cold and then cold to overheated does put more of a strain on your heart definitely."
He also says to stay hydrated before, during and after shoveling. Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can put a strain on your hear so chug a glass of water not cup of Joe before you head outside.
Dr. Jerstad says don't go out in the cold to shovel:
*Without warming up first (do a little stretching, maybe a few jumping jacks)
*And use good mechanics. That means your feet shoulder width apart, bend at the knees and don't twist your body to throw the snow.
*The biggest thing is if you have any chest pain stop immediately and get help.
For more information www.avera.org