The risk that shoveling snow poses to your heart

There are ways to reduce your risk of an episode

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – You may have heard that shoveling snow increases your risk of a heart attack, but why?

The physical strain can be bad for your back, and put your heart at risk. Experts say that you should not shovel right after you wake up. It is a time when your heart beats rapidly and your blood pressure can be higher.

You should drink water before you shovel, in order to stay hydrated. Also, skip the coffee and cigarettes- they can make your heart work faster than it needs to.

Dr. Joseph Schmidt of emergency medicine at Baystate Medical Center told 22News about the symptoms you need to recognize. “You shouldn’t start to have any feeling like you can’t catch your breath, or that you are having pressure in your chest. If any of those things happen, stop right away, and if they persist, you need to seek medical attention,” Schmidt said.

You should also eat only a light meal before you shovel; eating too much can make your heart work harder. You should also be sure to dress in layers, so that you can remove them and not get overheated.