Doctors warn of the dangers of shoveling snow

By WEEK Producer

February 21, 2013 Updated Feb 22, 2013 at 12:26 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Medical experts say with a big snow storm comes an increase in reported heart attacks and cardiac deaths as individuals exert themselves while shoveling snow.

A full load of snow can weigh up to 15 or 20 pounds on a shovel, making shoveling an intense exercise.

Doctors at Methodist Medical Center advise residents not to try clearing the snow all at once.

"It much smarter to go out frequently and move much smaller amounts of snow," said Methodist Medical Center Physical Therapist Eric Sparks. "Plus you get the extra added bonus of a break. Which is very important in any physical activities is to take frequent rest breaks."

When removing show, experts also recommend to push it and not twist your body, take smaller loads, and always bundle up in layers.

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