LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Researchers say shoveling all of the snow in your driveway may put you at risk for heart issues.
Every year, hundreds of people in the U.S. die during or just after removing snow from sidewalks and driveways.
According to the American Heart Association, people are at increased risk of a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest from shoveling.
The risks exist for both people with and without a known history of heart disease.
Experts estimated that shoveling heavy snow may be as or even more demanding on the heart than taking a typical treadmill stress test.
After only two minutes of shoveling, heart rates can exceed 85% of the maximal heart rate. The impact is the hardest for those in the worst physical shape.
The American Heart Association said there are several factors for risks including:
- Increased heart rate
- Cold temperatures
- Can cause blood pressure to spike
- Frigid conditions
- Can constrict the coronary artery.
The best advice? Push the snow instead of lifting and throwing it. Take plenty of breaks.
Feeling lightheaded or have any chest pain? Stop, go inside, rest and get warm.
If you’re still feeling lightheaded and have chest pain, call 911.
Experts said using a snow blower may put you at risk because it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure.