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STATEWIDE — Did you know snow shoveling can trigger a heart attack?

“Shoveling snow is significant exercise,” said IU Health Cardiologist, Dr. Kyle Frick. “So, if your heart’s not used to that, that could put undue stress on the heart if you all of a sudden decide to wake up and shovel a significant amount of snow from your driveway.”

He said if you haven’t been putting your heart under this kind of stress before you could have symptoms that might surprise you.

The classic symptoms of a heart attack are chest pain, shortness of breath, or shoulder pain. Dr. Frick said symptoms might also be nausea, or just generally feeling unwell.

The bottom line:

“If you have symptoms that don’t go away, or that are severe you should call 911.”

To stay safe while shoveling snow, Dr. Frick suggests bundling up, using a smaller shovel, taking breaks, telling someone you’re going outside to shovel, and keeping your cell phone in your pocket in case you need to call someone.

“Cold weather in and of itself can put an extra strain on the heart.”