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6 Tips For Protecting Your Heart While Shoveling Snow

The wet, heavy snow from this late season storm can spell disaster for crews clearing the way.  Dr. Laxmi Mehta, a cardiologist with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center offers the below tips to make sure shovelling is as safe as possible.

  • Give your body time to wake up. Instead of shoveling snow right after jumping out of bed, give your body time to wake up. Heart rate and blood pressure tend to be higher in the morning so giving your body some time can minimize these effects.
  • Take it slow. Shoveling isn’t a race. Warm up before beginning and then start off moving small amounts of snow. Take frequent breaks as needed.
  • Get Water First. You lose fluids while shoveling, so hydrate before you begin. Dehydration can put extra strain on the heart.
  • Skip the coffee and cigarettes. Both coffee and cigarettes are heart stimulants and you’ll already be giving the heart a workout by shoveling
  • Eat Light. Avoid eating a heavy meal beforehand because blood is diverted to the stomach, putting additional strain on the heart.
  • Dress in Layers. You’ll probably find yourself sweating while shoveling. To avoid overheating and making your heart work even harder, remove a layer each time you feel overheated.