Don’t shovel snow with heart conditions


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Snow will show up on your doorstep before you know it.

Before attempting clear it, you need to make sure you’re healthy enough to do so first.

Putting down the snow shovel could be better for you in the long run. Union Health Resident Dr Patrick Titzer, M.D. says shoveling snow can trigger heart attacks.

“If you’re [physically] de-conditioned, and you’re already in weather that’s making your blood pressure a little bit higher,” noted Titzer. “You’re at higher risk for clotting and the cold weather can also reduce blood flow to certain parts of the heart and puts a lot of strain on the heart. We see it fairly commonly.”

Like all physical activity, you should warm-up and stretch first to help improve blood circulation.

In addition to high blood pressure, if you show any symptoms of heart trouble, you might want to hire out to clear the walk.

“If you notice that your feet swell a lot in the morning and you get short of breath, that kind of combination, you worry about heart failure, you may want to consider hiring that 18 year old,” urged Titzer. “If you’re a smoker and you haven’t been exercising, smokers are generally going to have less pulmonary conditioning.”

Should you be already shoveling the drive and you feel any of key heart attack symptoms, you need to call 911.

“The classic features are the chest pain and that can be central or over to the left side in particular with radiation up into the jaw, neck, and radiation into the left shoulder and down your arm,” explained Titzer. “Those are our classic heart attack signs that we worry about.”

Dr Titzer says that people in their late 30s and early 40s are more at risk because they overestimate their physical conditioning.