While a substantial snow fall may mean income to some or look beautiful to others  it can also cause major health issues.  The American Heart Association has issued a warning to those who must shovel sidewalks and driveways that doing so can significantly raise the danger of heart attacks and stroke.

The exertion of shoveling large, heavy amounts of snow can trigger a heart attack or stroke.  In addition coupled with cold temperatures and blustery winds the danger of heart or other cardiovascular issues increases significantly.

In a release provided by the American Heart Association (AHA) the organization outlines tips to consider when shoveling and snow removal is necessary.  The AHA advises not to eat a heavy meal prior to or right after shoveling snow.  A large meal can increase the load on your heart.  They also advise taking frequent breaks.

Other suggestions that could save your life include abstaining from drinking alcoholic beverages before shoveling.  Alcohol can mask body stress.  Also, be aware of symptoms and warning signs of a heart attack including chest pain or discomfort and shortness of breath.

ThinkStock, Irina Igumnova

The American Heart Association urges safety first.  Should symptoms arise don't delay contact 9-1-1 immediately.