Health officials are warning that shoveling heavy, wet snow could trigger a heart attack

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Cold weather mixed with moving hundreds of pounds of wet and heavy snow can be the recipe for a heart attack.

Especially for those who don’t exercise regularly.

Leslie Kinnee is with the Mid-Michigan District Health Department. She said the simple activity of shoveling snow can be more strenuous than running on a treadmill.

“If they are going to shovel, just make sure that they warm up their muscles before they start, maybe shovel light loads instead of heavy ones, take frequent breaks, drink plenty of water, that sort of thing.”

Kinnee said people should also be watching out for hypothermia and frostbite when going outside.

“Basically when it’s bitterly cold outside it’s best to stay indoors. Don’t ignore weather warnings, that sort of thing. If they are going to go outside it’s important that they cover up exposed skin, dress in layers, definitely wear a hat.”

Kinnee said non-common signs of a heart attack can include include jaw pain, lower back pain, unexplained fatigue or nausea, and anxiety.