Tips for easing the strain of snow shoveling

February 1, 2011 2:59:58 PM PST
Whether we get 2 feet or several inches, there's no doubt many people will be shoveling snow. Health experts say it's worth doing right.

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.