The Danger Of Shoveling

January 21, 2011 Updated Jan 21, 2011 at 10:05 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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January 21, 2011 Updated Jan 21, 2011 at 10:05 PM EDT

(WKBW/Cleveland Clinic) We're expecting a cold and snowy weekend. It's a good time to remind people that shoveling is a big health risk.

The American Heart Association warns snow shoveling is hard on the heart. Doctors say people who have coronary artery disease should not perform strenuous shoveling because of the heart attack risk.

Cold temperatures also contribute to the heart attack risk, causing arteries to tighten and blood pressure to rise.

Shortness of breath or discomfort in the left arm are warning signs you may be having a heart attack when you're out in the snow, but doctors say the clear indicator is chest pain.

Doctors say if you experience any of these symptoms while shoveling or during any strenuous activity, and they don't go away in a few minutes, call 9-1-1.

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