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Heart Health And The Dangers Of Shoveling Snow

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Shoveling and digging after heavy snow is good exercise for most people; but for people with heart conditions, shoveling is best left to someone else.

Mayo Clinic cardiologist Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, says she encourages exercise, but the combination of cold weather and strenuous exercise can put extra strain on your heart and could trigger a heart attack.

Snow shoveling is great exercise, but it’s not for everyone

“Snow shoveling is one of those particularly dangerous cardiovascular stress tests for a variety of reasons,” Dr. Hayes said.

She told her heart patients: “I really don’t want you to do that anymore. You can mow your lawn; you can keep hiking and walking. I want you to exercise.”

The reasons, she said, were both physical and psychological.

physiology including your Blood vessel Contracted by cold, which increases blood pressure.

“It is enough, sometimes in a vulnerable individual, to give them chest pain. Let’s say they have some blockage, which could give them angina or chest pain,” Dr. Hayes said.

Add it to the mining workload blizzard.

“The psychological part. Oh everybody,” says Dr. Hayes. “My patients smile when I say that because it’s a knowing smile. Oh yeah.”

Sometimes it’s hard to stop once you start.

“It’s a combination of cold. Extreme exertion, and then maybe going on longer than it would be wise to do because we have to finish and get to the end of the walk,” explains Dr. Hayes.

It’s best to consult your doctor for advice on shoveling heavy snow, Dr. Hayes said.

2023 Mayo Clinic News Network.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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