Winter Worry: Snow Shoveling Dangers

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CLEVELAND-- Are you sick of shoveling snow? You're not alone.

"It's horrible. I hate it. I can't wait for Spring to be here," said Gonzalo Gonzalez from Lakewood.

Moving snow is heavy work, especially if you're shoveling it.  It creates a lot of stress on the heart and if you're not careful it could lead to a heart attack.

"If you cannot work out for 20 minutes, you can't shovel snow for 20 minutes and that is just the way to gauge it," said Dr. Charles Emerman, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Gonzalez shovels 4 to 5 driveways a day when it snows.  He knows the importance of taking his time and taking breaks to avoid a trip to the emergency room.

"If you feel like you are getting a little woozy or not feeling well, just take a break. Don't overwork yourself. It is not going to be good for you," Gonzalez said.

Breaks are not only important while you're shoveling, but once you're finished, as well.

"Take some time to cool down. Drink lots of fluids and have a rest before your next physical activity," said Dr. Emerman.

Another tip from Dr. Emerman: Push the snow. Don't lift it. That will prevent a lower back injury.

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