Health Alert: Shoveling snow can cause physical stress

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Wet, slushy snow can weigh as much as 25 pounds in a shovel and experts say this can put a strain on your body.

Three men in Howard County were transported to hospitals Thursday morning after suffering heart attacks from shoveling snow. Two of them died.

Dr. Bill Frohna of MedStar Washington Hospital Center says shoveling heavy snow can really put a toll on your body if you are not in shape.

Dr. Frohna says, "You really have to take an assessment of what your physical status is before heading out. You certainly don't want to give yourself a heart attack."

The heart is not only stressed by the cold but also by the physical activity of shoveling the snow. So make sure you take lots of breaks while shoveling your sidewalks and driveways. If you feel shortness of breath or excessive sweating stop immediately. If you feel chest pains call 911.

"To move 10, 12 inches of snow you gotta be prepared," adds Dr. Frohna.


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