The recent weather has left most of the country with absolutely no doubt that Winter has arrived in a big way. So, if you're getting ready to throw on a coat, grab a shovel and go outside to do some needed snow removal, health experts are warning you to maybe put the coat back in the closet and leave the shoveling for someone else. Each year, there are roughly 11,500 shoveling-related injuries and 1,600 deaths. Most deaths involve people over 45 who have heart disease. The problem is, in many cases, people may not realize they have heart disease until it's too late. Here are the reasons why shoveling snow is so dangerous:
- Bending over and lifting snow causes a spike in heart rate and blood pressure.
- Shoveling involves arm work, which is harder on the body than leg work.
- When someone lifts heavy snow, they often hold their breath, which also increases heart rate and blood pressure.
- Since you're mostly using your arms, your legs are mostly stationary and that means the blood is taking longer to circulate back to the heart.
- All that cold air you're breathing in is constricting your arteries.