Staying safe while shoveling snow

NOW: Staying safe while shoveling snow

NEW BUFFALO, Mich. — Whether you’re cleaning off your car or shoveling snow these next few days, remember, no matter how many times you’ve done so, it can still overwhelm your heart.  

“Treat shoveling snow like vigorous exercise, so prepare yourself the same way,” said Brad Ferrari, MD, family medicine physician, at Spectrum Health Lakeland. 

No matter what kind of shape you’re in, shoveling snow can be hard on your heart and it can hit you fast. 

“The idea here is you want to push the snow, not throw it, because that’s a lot more work for your heart,” said Dr. Ferrari. “Having a shovel that fits you, a relatively smaller, sturdy plastic blade is actually a better idea.”  

Also know the warning signs of a heart attack, which includes discomfort not only at your chest – but arms, legs and back as well.  

While shoveling is strenuous, it shouldn’t have you out of breath.  

So make sure never to push through any pain and don’t second guess calling 911 if it doesn’t subside. 


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