Health risk with the snow shovel: There is an increased cardiovascular risk

Health risk with the snow shovel: There is an increased cardiovascular risk

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Risk for the elderly: Shoveling snow can lead to health problems
Now the white splendor is finally here. Most people would have been happy to have snow at Christmas, but even now it is a pleasure for many. Snow shoveling is less pleasant. Not only is this pretty exhausting, it can also be dangerous for some people.

Cold air and exertion
The white splendor is nice to look at, but shoveling snow in the morning is much more strenuous than it looks. Elderly people and cardiac patients in particular can experience cold air and exertion in the long term. This is what the pharmacy magazine "Diabetes Ratgeber" (1/2016) has pointed out in its current issue. The heart then pumps faster and needs more strength to drive the blood through the narrower veins when it is cold. In the past, other health experts have also pointed out possible health risks in cold weather.

Increased health risk in the cold
For example, the Federal Association of Resident Cardiologists (BNK) warned that there is an increased risk of complications such as heart attack, stroke or poor circulation in the heart at low temperatures. According to the experts, blood pressure automatically increases at low temperatures because the blood vessels contract to regulate the temperature. People with high blood pressure or underlying diseases such as coronary artery disease or hardening of the arteries should therefore be particularly careful in the cold months. A study from Switzerland last year showed that older people in particular are at risk. The researchers found that especially untrained seniors can have a heart attack from shoveling snow. The scientists blamed the combination of excessive physical exercise with the inhalation of cold air.

Warm up before shoveling snow
As the "Diabetes Guide" goes on, people with asthma should also be careful, because exertion and cold air could trigger seizures. It is therefore advisable to first ask the doctor how much one can expect from shoveling snow. According to the report, the same applies to shoveling snow as to sporting activities: no cold starts from the sofa, but first warm up. Of course, it is also advisable to take breaks more often if the area to be cleared is very large. In addition, seniors can prevent health problems in the cold by regularly doing strength or endurance training. (ad)

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