Heart attack snow is something that we have to deal with in Colorado, and anyplace else that gets snow too. Shoveling snow is hard work, especially for those that typically don't get out and exercise a whole lot.

It can be dangerous for anyone but especially those that typically aren't used to getting their heart rate up.

In fact, a 2020 study from the American Heart Association study found that after only two minutes of snow shoveling, participants’ heart rates exceeded 85% of maximal heart rates. That’s a similar level of exertion that’s usually prescribed for aerobic exercise studies, according to the American Heart Association.


Okay, that's the doomy and gloomy part. A way to safely get rid of your snow - other than having someone else do it for you - is to take your time and take plenty of breaks especially if you're not used to getting your heart rate elevated and doing any strenuous activity.

1. Don't eat a heavy meal right before shoveling

2. Don't drink alcohol right before or after shoveling

3. Do a little bit at a time, with ample breaks

4. Dress appropriately. Ensure your hands are covered, wear layers, and keep your feet dry and warm

5. Listen to your body.  If you feel tired or sluggish, it’s time for a hot cocoa break

6. If you, a loved one or neighbor begins to show signs of a heart attack, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately

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