Be careful when shoveling to protect your heart health
After the snowstorm we had on Monday, it’s important to be cautious of health issues when it comes to snow clean-up.
Primary Care Provider, G.W. Smith at Atlantic General Health System tells us to pay attention to really wet snow. It may be excessively heavy and as it gets colder the ice becomes snow, which can be deceptive. In addition to becoming heavier and heavier.
The older you get, shoveling can increase the rate of exertion, adding stress on the cardiovascular system causing extra strain on your heart. Smith says if you have heart issues you should avoid strenuous activities unless you’ve been cleared by a doctor or cardiologist. Also during this time of year, one of the major issues that doctors are concerned about falls. It’s important that if you fall or strain your back you have the help you need.
Smith tells 47ABC “if you’re older or if you have back pain don’t over-exert yourself and bend down low, if you’re lifting a heavier load get rid of some of the snow or use your legs to lift.” Also to ensure your safety you should limit your exposure to cold. Smith says if you are in the cold and happen to get wet, be sure to go inside; change your gloves, and socks, and avoid cold damage in your fingertips and toes – especially in diabetic patients. If you’re out in the cold lookout for symptoms.
He includes “sharp stabbing pain in the chest, typically describes as someone sitting on your chest, shortness of breath, numbness and tingling in the left arm, or down the hand even severe heartburn as a heart attack.” If you have a known heart condition and notice any of these heart conditions, Smith says you should stop what your doing; reassess, and if you continue with those symptoms call medical personnel. If you plan to clean up after yesterday’s storm take a cell phone outside with you in case you need to call someone.