Health and Fitness
How Shoveling Snow Can Lead To Heart Problems

How Shoveling Snow Can Lead To Heart Problems

The heart might be the powerful organ that pumps blood to your entire body. But, at the same time, it’s also sensitive.

You will most certainly find a great deal of advice and suggestions when it comes to taking care of the heart. However, some of those things seem somewhat out of the ordinary. Like, the relation between shoveling snow and heart disease.

Heart Problems and Shoveling Snow

A study was carried out in Canada, and it brought a lot of things to light. Many more male patients were admitted to hospitals because they were experiencing either chest pain or other problems after or during snowfalls. 

Close-up of Woman Shoveling her Parking lot

The study looked quite closely at the hospital admissions from 1981 up until 2014. In that span of over three decades, they found some fluctuations that revealed the connection between shoveling snow and heart problems. In more than 128,000 hospital admissions and over 68,000 heart attack related deaths, they found many things.

Here are three of those findings:

  1. There was a 34% increase in the number of deaths on the day after eight-inch snowfall. On the days where snowfall was more than eight inches, the rate increased.
  2. When compared to days on which snow didn’t fall, there was a 16% increase on the day after a snowfall in the number of men admitted for heart attacks.
  3. There wasn’t any link between snowfall and heart problems among women. 

The vital thing you should understand about this research is that it wasn’t limited to people with cardiovascular history. The link was also observed among the people who didn’t display any risks of heart problems. 

Even though the researchers didn’t ask the people if they had been shoveling snow recently, there aren’t any other possible explanations. Seeing as the data was collected from over three decades, it’s clear that snow shoveling can have devastating effects on the heart. 

Shoveling Snow Can Lead To Heart Problems3

Why Can Snow Shoveling Lead To A Heart Attack?

There are several reasons why snow shoveling can lead to heart attacks. 

The activity involves pushing heavy equipment and using a lot of force. It can increase your blood pressure along with your heart rate quickly and significantly. It works the arm muscles quite strenuously. 

Since it’s a demanding activity, the body requires a lot of blood flow. But because of the significantly low temperatures, the blood vessels are constricted. Also, not doing any or much exercise and then suddenly shoveling snow for an extended period can put stress on the body. 

What Should You Do?

Now that you know how dangerous shoveling snow can be for your health, it best to stay away from it. That means you will need to hire a professional to clear the snow and ice from your sidewalks as well as everywhere else. 

Considering that cardiovascular diseases affect millions of people worldwide and that shoveling snow can get to you even if your heart is healthy, it’s best to be cautious. However, you can look into ways to protect your heart while shoveling snow.

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