Colder temperatures, paired with physical exertion can put a strain on your heart. While shoveling the driveway this winter, it is very important to listen to your body and take the right safety precautions. The risk of a heart attack from shoveling is a serious concern. People that are at most risk of a heart attack or back sprain are ones that do not regularly exercise or take care of their health.

Hidden Dangers of Shoveling Snow

Research has shown that after 7 plus inches of snow, there is 23 to 34 percent increase in attendance to hospitals and heart attacks. Experts have found that every 24 to 48 hours of heavy snowfall comes a huge spike in hospital admissions for heart attack.

This happens because around your heart you have little arteries known as the coronary arteries. These arteries are very small and they supply the heart with blood for it to work. Like anything else, blood also acts as a muscle. When you are waking up in the morning, your blood is actually cold and thicker.

Same thing happens when you go outside in the cold to shovel. The air is colder and when you breathe the cold air into your lungs, the oxygen that travels into your lungs to the blood is also colder as well. This causes your blood to thicken, and when you start to shovel you will experience a sudden increase in blood pressure.

This increase in heart rate can cause the thickened blood to break the coronary arteries and if you already have plaque, cholesterol or other blockages in those arteries, then you are more likely to end up with a heart attack.

What can you do?

The first thing you can do to prevent complications like these is warm up before you start to shovel. Doing a little warm-up can make sure your blood is flowing and not stagnant. If you are not warming up then make sure that you go outside and walk around before you can start shoveling. Getting the core body nice and warm can be accomplished by walking around as well.

Another good tip would be to take breaks between shoveling. If you are expecting plenty of snow, then you can shovel over different intervals of time. Another important thing to consider is that you should be pushing the snow and not lifting it. Pushing is much easier, and it puts much less strain on your back and knees.

Another good tip would be to stay warm and prevent any hypothermia from happening. Along with that, you will also benefit from staying hydrated. You want to make sure that you are replacing your fluids and preventing hydration.

Overall, shoveling a deep layer of snow is no job for a single shovel. It will require you to seek assistance from professionals that use high-tech tools and operators to clear out the snow from your lawn in the best way possible.