SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A fresh snowfall means it’s time to break out the snow blowers and shovels. But before you start clearing the snow, you need to keep your heart health in mind.
When you’re out shoveling snow this weekend, watch out for any signs of heart problems including chest pain.
“Could be shortness of breath, could be an unusual amount of sweatiness, could be a little dizziness, could be a shoulder ache, back ache, could be nausea, quite honestly, or just profound fatigue,” Dr. Tom Stys said. “So, I always tell my patients, when they ask me, ‘when should I worry,’ that if it crosses your mind that things are not right, you should pick up the phone and call for professional advice.”
Dr. Tom Stys, an interventional cardiologist with Sanford Health, says it’s common for the hospital to get calls after the season’s first big snowfall because symptoms may pop up while shoveling.
“Listen to your body,” Dr. Stys said. “Do not neglect any signs that might make you think that something is not right with your heart.”
The way to prevent these issues, though, is by living a heart healthy life year-round.
“Meaning, less calories, concentrate more on heart healthy foods — vegetables, fruits, less fatty products, less sugar, less plain and simple carbohydrates — concentrate on those vitamins and nutrient-rich products,” Dr. Stys said.
He also suggests at least a half an hour of exercise a day, five days a week.
Sanford Health offers heart screenings to test your risk of heart disease, you just have to ask your primary doctor about it.