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Shoveling Snow and Heart Attacks may be Related

flickr/ Mash Down Babylon

What a storm we had Thursday.   We got pounded with a ton of snow.  It was real tough driving, with driveways snowed in, and that meant you had to move a lot of snow.  So, my question is, have you dug out yet?

You probably have, and it has been sunny, but today it’s supposed to rain.  Go figure.

I ask about “digging out” of all of the snow because I talked to so many people who said the did, or had to, shovel themselves out, so to speak.

Our news partner, WZZM TV13, did a story about shoveling snow and heart attacks.  We’ve heard stories, but there is a serious risk of having a heart attack, and you should be aware of it.

Dr. George Abela of Michigan State University found that when cholesterol is heated to human body temperature then allowed to slowly cool, cholesterol crystals form along the artery walls, which can lead to a heart attack. Dr. Abela believes there is a correlation between snow shoveling and heart attacks because your body temperature lowers while outside, cooling any cholesterol that might be in your arteries.

That’s not much fun thinking about, but the right information just may save your life.

Heart disease kills nearly 700,000 Americans every year. Dr. Abela hopes his findings will help prevent the silent killer.

The average shovelful of wet snow weighs 16 to 20 pounds. So for many Americans who are out of shape, shoveling for 10 minutes is like running on a treadmill to the point of exhaustion. So, what to do?  Try these simple things:

— Opt for a shovel with an s-shaped handle, which can minimize the chance of back pain.
— Don’t shovel after a large meal.
— Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine, which can raise your heart rate and constrict blood vessels.
— Drink plenty of fluids, since breathing cold air dehydrates the body.
— Since cold air may also constrict your arteries, dress in layers

Hopefully, these tips can help.  Be careful!

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