SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Lots of people in Western Massachusetts were digging out Wednesday; more digging than you may be used to, as this is the biggest storm we’ve seen in our area in a while.
With all that shoveling comes a warning, though. Cardiologists as Baystate Medical Center say that the number of heart attacks in men triples when there are major snowfalls, even younger for people in their 30’s or 40’s.
One thing to keep in mind: if you’re not used to working out, shoveling can be a shock to your body. “It increases heart rate and blood pressure very quickly. When someone goes out there the temperature is in the 20’s or 30’s and they’re doing a heavy exercise…some of them are not used to it. So it is actually an intense exercise for some people,” Baystate Medical Center Cardiologist Dr. Ashequal Islam, M.D. said.
Some advice: don’t smoke or drink caffeine before going out to shovel, because that will increase your blood pressure faster. Only shovel a little bit at a time and dress warm. Also, if you already have heart problems, take extra precautions.