BILLINGS, Mont. - Billings Clinic has distributed over 1,000 stickers to hardware stores to put on shovels, listing the symptoms of a heart attack.

This is the second year Billings Clinic has given out stickers.

The stickers urge people to call 911 if they experience any of the listed symptoms which includes chest discomfort, shortness of breath and nausea.

Shoveling snow sounds like a simple activity we all do causing many people to ask how shoveling may put you in a higher risk for heart attacks?

Billings Clinic chest pain coordinator Kierra Knox said many people tend to overlook the symptoms and associate their pain with a sore arm or back.

Knox said this is especially true if you've never experienced heart problems before.

"The cold weather causes the arteries to constrict. So, then you're putting more work on your heart by dong the actual shoveling activity and your heart rate and blood pressure goes up," Knox said. "That's why you're at a higher risk for having a heart attack while shoveling snow."

If you have heart problems or find yourself tiring out easily, she says to follow these recommendations:

  • Use a smaller shovel
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stretch beforehand

Knox also adds knowing your medical history and hypothermia can help minimize any risks.

Wake Up Montana Reporter

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