7 things to know before you shovel snow

Parts of Canada have seen more than their fair share of snow and cold in recent weeks. Experts warn that snow shovelling in cold weather can increase your risk of heart attack.

Atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up on coronary arteries, causes more than 90% of heart attacks.
Cold outdoor air constricts blood vessels and shovelling snow raises blood pressure. Combined, these increase blood concentrations of fibrinogen, a protein involved in blood clotting.
Ask yourself these 7 questions before you head out in the snow:
  1. Do you have high cholesterol?
  2. When was the last time you did any vigorous exercise?
  3. Do you have high blood pressure?
  4. Are you overweight?
  5. Do you smoke?
  6. Have you been diagnosed with heart or blood vessel disease?
  7. Are you recovering from a heart attack, stroke or heart surgery?
Follow these heart-healthy tips for snow shovelling:
  • Do some light warm-up activity first to gradually increase heart rate
  • Avoid shovelling snow right after eating a meal
  • Drink plenty of water to rehydrate
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Ask for help from family, friends or neighbours
  • Stop if you feel tired or dizzy
If you experience the warning signs of a heart attack or cardiac arrest, stop all activity immediately and call 9-1-1 or the nearest emergency service provider in your area.

Take advantage of savings in your area:

What is Blue Advantage?

The Blue Advantage program allows Blue Cross members to save on medical, vision care and many other products and services offered by participating providers across Canada. The program is unique because it provides discounts at point of sale on the total cost of products and services from participating providers across Canada, regardless of whether the item is covered under your benefit plan. Simply present your Blue Cross identification card to the participating provider and mention the Blue Advantage program. Blue Advantage is just one more way Blue Cross is working in your community to offer members access to affordable, quality services and products that can help them make healthy lifestyle choices.

We encourage you to visit www.blueadvantage.ca regularly to learn where you might find health care savings that are available in your area.