(Delmarva Now) -- Digging out after a snowstorm can cause back injuries and heart attacks, according to medical professionals.

Snow shoveling sends more than 11,000 people to the hospital each year, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Most are orthopedic injuries, but 7 percent of patients suffer cardiac problems.

Here's how to stay safe today:

  • If you are older, have heart problems or think you might, then leave the shoveling to someone else.
  • Use an ergonomic snow shovel to minimize bending.
  • Warm up for five to 10 minutes before shoveling.
  • Push the snow to one side rather than lifting it.
  • Pace yourself by shoveling small amounts of snow frequently.