“Let the heart rest:” Doctor gives safety advice for shoveling snow

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Though slipping and falling can be dangerous enough while shoveling snow, your heart may also be a target of the cold wintry weather.

In fact, heart attacks are actually quite common during the winter; doctors even see them happen to people who don’t have pre-existing conditions.

Dr. Mark Souder, a family practitioner and DeKalb County health officer, says that if you are planning to shovel outside, dress warmly in lots of layers and wear a mask or a scarf to protect your face.

He also says that protecting your mouth could help and decrease the heart from going into extra spasms in the arteries.

Souder suggested also lightening the shovel load to avoid strain and to take breaks instead of shoveling all at once to “let the heart rest.”

Souder says that falls from slippery driveways and sidewalks are more common than heart attacks, and that it is better to be safe than sorry.

Those at high risk include the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, and those who are physically inactive.

If you are unable to fully shovel your driveway or sidewalks, ask a neighbor for help.