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Snow Triggers Warning About Health Dangers Of Shoveling

By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- With the season's first big storm heading our way, it is time for a very important warning, one which many of people forget, year after year. The stress and strain of shoveling snow can cause all sorts of problems.

First of all, if you're not in condition, the last thing you want to do for your heart is to go out into cold weather and exert yourself. The added stress of the cold and activity, if you're not used to it, can be a major stresser on the heart, and could lead to heart attack and other serious problems.

But, even if you're in good condition, lifting and shoveling snow can be very difficult. It's back-breaking work. If you're going to do it, make sure that you bend at the knees and you get closer to the snow, not leaving a long distance with the shovel in your arm adding to the weight you're lifting. Also, it's important to take a break if and when you need it.

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