The dangers of shoveling snow are well known. In fact, some doctors recommend that people with certain risk factors not lift a shovel and instead find someone else to do that work.
Shoveling has been compared to a maximum workout on a treadmill -- and not everyone's ready to handle that kind of exertion.It really can raise your heart rate and blood pressure.
Shoveling is usually not fun, but it can also be a big risk for people who are out of shape and those who have coronary artery disease.
One doctor has said if you have a history of heart disease, smoke regularly, are overweight, have back problems or lead a relatively inactive lifestyle, the best thing to do get someone else to clear your sidewalks and driveways.
However, if you do shovel, it doesn't hurt to stretch your muscles first, use a small shovel instead of a big one and do more pushing than lifting.
"Every time there's a big snowstorm we have an over-abundance of people coming in with heart problems from shoveling. People don't realize how dangerous shoveling can be," said Carolyn Nichols, outreach coordinator at St. Peter's Hospital."People should stretch before they shovel because you're using muscles in your upper body you might not normally use and it creates a lot of strain on your upper body."
Bend at the knees when shoveling snow to reduce the strain on the back and heart.Don't eat, drink or smoke before shoveling.