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Dangers of Shoveling Snow

What's the most common cause of winter-time heart attacks, shoveling snow or breathing cold air? A study in Toronto showed that most heart attacks occur on the day after a snowfall, not on the coldest days.

Your heart has to work two and a half times harder to pump blood through your arms than your legs because smaller blood vessels have greater resistance against blood flow. If you become short of breath walking, your heart could be too weak for you to lift a shovel full of snow safely. Your heart could beat irregularly and you could develop a heart attack.

When you do shovel snow, take small shovel loads, rather than fewer heavy ones. Hold the shovel close to your body to lighten the load, and reach down for the snow by bending your knees, and come up by straightening them.

Checked 1/22/13

May 21st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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