Fit and Well Idaho: The chance of a heart attack increases after a snow storm

Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 3:56 AM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — For this week’s Fit and Well Idaho report, we look at a problem that is common after a snow storm; having a heart attack.

Shoveling snow causes an unusual amount of stress on the heart and cardiovascular system.

For people who are prone to issues related to the heart, shoveling snow could be a trigger, causing a heart attack or another heart problem.

Since shoveling snow occurs in the winter, another problem is narrowing of the blood vessels around the heart, increasing the blood pressure and causing significant cardiac stress on somebody’s heart.

If you have had a cardiac event, or a recent heart attack, it is not advised to shovel snow.

“If you can, exercise regularly that helps prepare your body more long term for things that pop up, like needing to take leaves in the fall time or shovel snow in the winter time, it really makes a difference,” said Monique Middlekauff, an exercise physiologist.

She also says there is no harm in asking for help shoveling snow if you need it.

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