EAST MEADOW - Doctors are warning about the risks associated with shoveling snow as the first big storm of the season moves in.

Shoveling wet, heavy snow in the cold air is an exertion that could pose serious risks for the elderly, people with heart conditions and people who do not exercise regularly.

Dr. Anthony Boutin of the emergency room at Nassau University Medical Center says he's seen it all. His advice is to take it easy, and those who are older should try to find someone to do the heavy lifting.

There are several tips to follow to avoid serious harm. Doctors say people should warm up and stretch a bit before going out to shovel. It's recommended to use a small shovel, to keep the load down. It's also a good idea to take frequent breaks, and doctors are reminding people to use proper lifting techniques when shoveling -- lift with the legs, not the back.

When using a snowblower, remember to never use your hands to unclog the machinery.