Shoveling is a physical activity that raises heart rate and blood pressure. So it's recommended those with cardiovascular disease talk to their doctor first.
Other risk factors include being over 50, being a heavy smoker, or being obese.
For those who think they're healthy enough, here are some tips from Northwestern doctors:
- Start early. Snow is easier to shovel with it first falls .
- Ease into it. Sudden exertion in cold weather can be dangerous for the heart.
- Don't pick up too much. A heavy load can put strain on the heart, back and neck.
- Listen to your body. If you start to feel winded take a break, these are signs you are doing more than the body can handle.