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After a life of shoveling snow, you finally feel like you have the perfect method down. You know your lawn and you’ll get the job done. However, while your method is perfect, your body isn’t what it once was. USA Today reported that 45 is the maximum age for snow shoveling if you have any type of heart disease or are at risk of heart disease. While you may believe yourself to have a healthy heart, the American Heart Association believes that 50% of people have heart disease. Even more frightening, some experts put that number at 85% of adults having undiagnosed or unaddressed cardiac problems.

In the American Heart Association’s study, Circulation, which discusses heart attacks or exercise-related acute cardiac events, researchers said, “Snow shoveling has repeatedly been associated with increased cardiovascular events soon after major snowstorms, probably because it can elicit higher rate-pressure products than maximal treadmill testing and is often performed by unfit individuals with known or occult CAD (coronary artery disease).”

Snow shoveling doesn’t seem like a large risk, it’s just picking up small loads of snow and moving them around. However, most people don’t take their time with snow shoveling, they move quickly and efficiently so they can get out of the cold. This can create a lot of strain on bodies, especially those that don’t work out as often. Not only that, but the cold itself is also fighting against you. In the cold weather, our hearts have to work harder to circulate blood through our body which increases the risk of heart attack. Cold temperatures can raise blood pressure and constrict coronary arteries, leading to a higher risk of heart attack.

Dr. Laffin, a medical professional at the Cleveland Clinic, believes that if you’re over 55 and have any medical conditions, you should have someone shovel for you. He says that people underestimate the strain and possible injuries snow shoveling puts on your body. Studies show that snow shoveling puts enough strain on your heart to bring it to the same heart rate as running on a treadmill. “Particularly people that have multiple medical conditions such as coronary artery disease or hypertension, or maybe they’re overweight or obese and don’t get a lot of physical activity — it’s not worth it to risk your heart,” Laffin says.

There are lots of options for snow removal to help make sure you stay safe. Options can be a helpful neighbor or hiring a snow removal expert to take on the task. If you are looking for a snow removal expert or advice on how to most efficiently remove snow, contact Swenson Consulting for all your snow removal needs.

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