A 2011 study revealed that shoveling snow actually does increase the risk of a having a heart attack.
The study looked at 500 people and found that 7% started experiencing symptoms of heart problems, while shoveling snow.
Cardiologists conducting the study felt while 7% is significant, there could be as many as double that number given the fact that the patients may not have connected their heart problems with snow shoveling.
The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), suggests eight tips for safe snow shoveling.
- TIP #1: Stay on top of the snow. When there's a heavy snow, clear the snow every few inches instead of waiting for the snow to stop falling before you head outdoors.
- TIP #2: Wear breathable layers. Wear layers of loose clothing so you can peal a layer off if you get hot. Avoid wearing materials that don’t allow perspiration to evaporate.
- TIP #3: Watch your feet. Wear quality outdoor winter wear, such as waterproof boots with good traction. Good traction is critical to ensuring that you don't slip and fall.
- TIP #4: Take a few minutes To streach. Stretching before you start shoveling will help prevent injury and fatigue.
- TIP #5: Push, don't lift. Push the snow to the side rather than trying to lift the snow to remove it, you exert less energy.
- TIP #6: Drink Water. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
- TIP #7: Don't play in traffic. When shoveling snow near streets, pay attention to the traffic.
- TIP #8: Call and text. Have a cell phone handy so you can make a call in event of an emergency.