Doctor warns of shoveling dangers for average people

By WEEK Producer

Credit: MGN online

Doctor warns of shoveling dangers for average people

March 13, 2014 Updated Mar 13, 2014 at 3:28 PM CDT

The winter weather usually means lots of snow to shovel.

Doctors say no matter what kind of shape you're in, shoveling snow can be very strenuous on the heart.

Even for the average person, stress on your heart increases significantly when shoveling snow and can lead to a heart attack.

The combination of cold temperatures and strenuous activity of shoveling also causes a sudden increase in blood pressure.

Cardiologist Dr. Nicholas Balaji says he always treats more heart problems after a big snow.

"It's a sudden surge. It's a sudden stress,” said Dr. Balaji. “It's a little different than most of the aerobic activities where you build to it and the changes in the vascular system are a little more concerning because of the load that you're putting on the heart."

Doctors advise limiting how much snow you are shoveling even though it may seem like you can handle it.

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