Snow shoveling dangers

Shoveling snow and health risks

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Cardiologists at the Prairie Heart Institute in Carbondale say when you are out shoveling in this weather, you need to ease your way into it.

“Snow shoveling is, it’s really intense exercise. People tend to bring their heart rate almost like 75 percent of maximum predicted heart rate,” said Vadzim Chyzhyk, cardiologist with SIH Prairie Heart Institute.

Chyzhyk said before you even pick up that shovel, know what kind of shape you are in.

“Start slow and like go on and start doing some easy plan of work and listening to your body, listen your heart, if you start having some extra shortness of breath of some like discomfort in your chest just stop and see if those symptoms get better,” said Chyzhyk.

But if you do feel pain while shoveling take a break.

“See that if that pain goes away and if doesn’t, then call the hospital and the ambulance will come for you,” said Chyzhyk.

Herrin resident Jennifer Richards is taking the easier way to clean up snow.

“The snow blower definitely helps. It’s not as taxing on your body, and it goes a little faster,” said Richards.

She is fortunate enough to have bought a new snow blower.

“Definitely, thankful this snow isn’t wet. It’s a little easier to blow because it’s fluffier, which isn’t as hard but you still get a workout using.. but definitely, I prefer this over shoveling any day,” said Richards.

According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, 8 inches of snowfall raised the risk 16 percent compared to a day in the same month that did not have snow

Now these cold temperatures do not help with shoveling.

“Cover your face with a scarf so when you breath in, you don’t breath this like cold harsh air because the cold harsh air can also like decrease the blood flow through your heart. It can promote like blood clotting,” said Chyzhyk.

He also said hydration and solid dieting can help your effort along with dressing appropriately.

“You need to make sure you wear like warm clothes,” said Chyzhyk.

And Chyzhyk has this advice to all snow shovelers.

“Don’t try to be a hero and clean all 5 acres of your lot,” said Chyzhyk.

Now if you do not have to shovel, Chyzhyk said snow blowing or working in teams can relieve the stress on your heart.

Copyright 2021 KFVS. All rights reserved.