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Snow Hazard Warning

Our area is experiencing a significant amount of snow for the season. Roadways are hazardous. VDOT (vehicle department of transportation) and independent workers are working around the clock to keep the roads and store parking lots safe. If you are able to stay off the roads, please do. This will allow VDOT and the independent workers to clean the roadways easier and safer. Driveways and sidewalks don't get cleaned by the workers; therefore, it's up to the homeowner to clear the path.

Shoveling snow is not an easy job. There's an increase of heart attacks during these times. Did you know 45 deaths have been related to shoveling snow in 2016 which was explained in an article written by CBS news? It also stated there was a study conducted which showed 1,647 people died of heart attacks from 1990 to 2006. Heart attacks are the number one killer within the United States alone.

Emergency rooms in hospitals increase their man power when a winter storm approaches the area. While shoveling snow, the body's blood pressure increases and the heart rate. The cold temperatures constrict the body's blood vessels that causes the blood to be more think and more prone to clotting. Anybody over the age of 55 is warned not to shovel snow because these people have a greater risk of having a heart attack. Here are 7 ways to keep your heart safe from strenuous snow shoveling.

1. Take breaks. ~ Taking frequent breaks help avoid putting too much stress on the heart.

2. Refrain from eating a meal before or after shoveling. ~ Meals can put a bigger load on the heart.

3. Use a snow thrower or small shovel. ~ Lifting heavy objects can raise the blood pressure, but lifting heavy objects with extra weight added increases blood pressure even more.

4. Know the warning signs of a heart attack and listen to your body. Always carry your cellphone so you can call 911 immediately if you experience any of the signs.

~ The signs of a heart attack are: a. pain, fullness and/or a squeezing pain of the chest

b. jaw pain, toothache, headache - the pain of a heart attack can spread down both arms, to the jaw, head or back.

c. shortness of breath

d. nausea - which is a less common symptom but very possible symptom for a heart attack. Many people describe indigestion associated with it too.

e. vomiting - the nausea can be severe which produces vomit.

f. upper middle abdomen discomfort

g. fatigue accompanied with being lightheaded

h. sweating

5. Refrain from drinking any alcohol before or immediately after shoveling snow.

6. Speak with your doctor to ensure your healthy enough to shovel snow.

7. Beware of hypothermia and the dangers of it. ~ wear layers of clothing with a hat to keep you warm

Even though snow is beautiful to look at, there are dangers lurking around it. Make sure you keep your heart safe and enjoy the wonders of enjoying the snow.

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