But with really big snow – and even everyday, run-of-the-mill snow – comes a risk of death by shoveling. According to CBS News in Chicago, by early February 2015, around 18 people in the Chicago area had died in snow shoveling-related incidents. They ranged in age from their 40s to 75. Nationwide, snow shoveling is responsible for thousands of injuries and as many as 100 deaths each year.

So, why so many deaths? Shoveling snow is just another household chore, right?

Not at all, says Harvard Health Executive Editor Patrick J. Skerrett.

“Picking up a shovel and moving hundreds of pounds of snow, particularly after doing nothing physical for several months, can put a big strain on the heart,” Skerrett wrote in February 2013.

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