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Staying Healthy While Shoveling Snow: Michigan Medicine Cardiologist Has Tips To Protect Your Heart

Dec 14, 2017

Credit University of Michigan

With several inches of new snow on the ground, there will be a lot of shoveling and clearing of snow-clogged driveways and sidewalks going on.

89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry spoke with a Michigan Medicine cardiologist about the best way to make sure that gets done safely.


Dr. Melvyn Rubenfire is a professor of internal medicine and director of preventive cardiology at the University of Michigan.  He says shoveling snow is quite a vigorous workout - not really good for anybody’s health.

Dr. Melvin Rubenfire is a professor of internal medicine and director of preventive cardiology at the University of Michigan.
Credit University of Michigan

“People who have had heart disease, or hypertension, or who are at risk should not be shoveling snow, particularly when it’s heavy and deep,” says Rubenfire.

Dr. Rubenfire says the cold weather can also impact your heart constricting arteries and possibly raising your blood pressure.

He recommends covering your face, nose, and mouth if you have to be outside in the cold weather to help protect your heart.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu