Health experts warn about a greater risk of heart attack during snow shoveling. People who are outdoors in cold weather should avoid sudden exertion, such as lifting a heavy shovel full of snow.
Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snowdrifts can strain a person's heart.
If you must shovel snow, here are some tips:
Push snow instead of lifting it.
Take frequent breaks to avoid overstressing your heart.
Don't eat a heavy meal before or soon after shoveling to avoid putting an extra load on your heart.
Use a small shovel or a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
Avoid alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol draws heat away from the body's vital organs, possibly increasing a person's sensation of warmth and leading to underestimating the extra strain the body is under in the cold.