Now is the time to start preparing your heart for spring. Dr. Richard Krasuski, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, says if you've spent the winter months hibernating, there's no need to rush back outside and overdo it in the yard.
"There are a lot of folks who spend their winters doing very little, sitting, watching TV, not really getting out and getting much exercise and then spring rolls around and they want to go back to doing what they were doing before, whether it's lifting weights, exercising, or even getting out into the yard and doing some yard work," he said.
Krasuski says if you get back outside and start feeling chest pressure or shortness of breath, you should call your doctor. Also, if you feel like your exercise capacity isn't quite what it was in the fall; you should let your physician know. And if you feel more tired working in the yard than you did last year, it's a sign something may not be right.
Krasuski says if the symptoms are gradual contacting your primary care physician is a good first step, but if they come on strong and persist, consider it an emergency.
"I think if you start feeling things like chest pressure, a lot of shortness of breath, and you stop and rest and those symptoms are just not going away those are signs that you really need to call 911," he warned.
Krasuski adds that it's not a bad idea to start an exercise routine before the weather breaks to get yourself in shape for all of the impending yard work you're going to do.