The Doctor Is In: Shoveling Safety

This content is sponsored and provided by Beaumont Health.

There's been a lot of snowfall this February and that means a lot of shoveling.  But if you're a certain age, or have a history of heart issues, shoveling can be downright dangerous. Dr. Barry Franklin, Ph.D., is the director of cardiac rehabilitation for Beaumont Health. Dr. Franklin recommends not shoveling at all if you're middle aged or older with a history of heart problems. Instead, consider hiring it out. Your next best option is to use a snow thrower.

If for some reason you must shovel Dr. Franklin says keep these tips in mind: 

+ Take extra precaution when the wind is blowing hard, which causes extra constriction.  Wintery cold air causes the constriction and temporary narrowing of the arteries. 
+  Use shovels that push the snow more than shovels that require more lifting, these are far less stressful on your heart.
+  When shoveling start gradually, pace yourself, make sure your face is covered and wear layered clothing.
+  Use both your arms and your legs when shoveling.
+  Shovel in intervals, not all at once. If we're expecting eight inches of snow, shovel when two inches have fallen and continue later when more has fallen, to decrease the stress on your heart.
+  Most heart attacks happen between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., use extra caution when shoveling during these times.

Beaumont Health offers an online tool to let you know if you're at risk for heart disease.