University of Ottawa Heart Institute

University of Ottawa Heart Institute

December 10, 2014 10:04 ET

Message to the Community: Heart Institute Reminds Everyone to Shovel Safely, Keep Hearts Healthy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 10, 2014) - As the first snow storm of the season is about to hit the Ottawa-Gatineau region, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute wants to reiterate the importance of taking all precautions when shoveling snow, in order to avoid serious cardiac events. Simple, easy steps can save lives!

Individuals with known risk factors for heart disease, or a family history of heart disease should avoid over exerting themselves physically through a heavy snow shoveling.

Instead, healthy shoveling with the following tips from Dr. Andrew Pipe, Chief of the Division of
Prevention and Rehabilitation at the Heart Institute, could help prevent severe heart problems:

  • Family history of heart disease? Or risk factors for heart disease (smoker, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity)? Make a local teenager wealthy! They need the exercise and will appreciate the money.

  • Get an "ergonomic" shovel - it will make shoveling easier.

  • Spray the shovel blade with cooking spray - snow won't stick!

  • Start slowly and finish slowly! Take your time and rest frequently.

  • If you're fit and healthy - shovel the driveway of a local senior - that's being "big- hearted"!

Cardiovascular disease is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Certain genetic attributes play a large part on our risk for cardiovascular disease, as well as a series of lifestyle factors, known as health behaviors and health factors.

Educate yourself about cardiovascular disease, its causes, how to prevent it, and how to live with it at

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