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Sedentary lifestyle, not shoveling itself, contributes to health hazards

This probably isn’t news to you but shoveling that wet, heavy snow can be a real pain in the neck, err back. Unfortunately, some people have experienced that shoveling snow has led to aches, pains and in some severe instances heart attacks.

And while true in certain cases, the problem isn’t solely dependent upon the snow shoveling activity itself but rather the sedentary lifestyle that some of these people live.

Shoveling is a lot of work and you do use a lot of muscles in your legs, arms and back which places extra strain on your heart.

“Shoveling is great exercise so if you’re exercising regularly you will probably be fine to go shovel the driveway or sidewalk,” says William Roberts, M.D., professor with the University of Minnesota Medical School, Family Medicine and Community Health. “But, if you haven’t been active it’s not a great idea to go outside to shovel, especially wet, heavy snow.”

A key factor in reducing your risk of serious injury or heart attacks is to exercise regularly, even outdoors during the cold winter months.

For some of Roberts’ favorite outdoor winter exercises, be sure to check out this video.