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Minding your heart health during cold weather activities

Safety reminders for Western New Yorkers about shoveling snow and other outdoor activities.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — February is National Heart Month and Western New York is known to get hit with some cold temperatures and snow this time of year. Health experts have some tips for shoveling snow and being out in the cold in order to avoid heart problems or a heart attack.

Health experts say it's important for people to remain active indoors during the winter months and to eat healthier. And most importantly before you go out, know how much your body can handle. Dr. Ali Masud, a cardiologist at the Catholic Health Heart Center, recommends if shoveling isn't something you have done before or have not done in some time you should have someone else do it for you.

If you are out shoveling, it's important to be aware of the warning signs that you are having a heart attack.

"If you start feeling dizzy, start feeling heartburn...shortness of breath, nauseous, you're dizzy, you're light-headed - all of these things should alert you that something is not right," Masud said.

Masud says if you experience any of those warning signs you should seek emergency medical care immediately regardless of the ongoing pandemic.

In addition to snow removal, cold weather can be a threat to your heart health. You have to be in the right attire and put on layers - making sure your hands, head, extremities, and ears are covered. If you start feeling warm and start sweating that means you need to change your attire and remove a layer. Dr. Masud says the key is "to stay warm but not boil."