Extreme cold, icy conditions to greet Polar Plunge participants

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More sub-zero wind chill and bitter cold in the Chicago area are making life difficult for those who work outdoors.  And there is more snow in the forecast, adding to our winter woes.

This weekend’s 14th annual Chicago Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach will no doubt lift people’s spirits.  But they might have to bring out the heavy equipment in order to clear a path to the beach through all the ice that has built up on the shoreline.

Last year was a cakewalk with unseasonably warm weather, but it is a different story this year.

In case you’re contemplating a frigid Lake Michigan plunge, cardiologists say there are a few things to keep in mind.

“For anyone who has diagnosed underlying heart disease, it’s probably not a good idea to partake in such an activity,” Dr. Timothy Nelson of Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center tells WGN.  “Patients with hypertension or elevated cholesterol levels, or a notable family history for early onset coronary artery disease or heart attack — those are folks who should probably be avoiding that type of activity.”

But there is no turning back for comedian Jimmy Fallon who has accepted a challenge from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to participate in Sunday’s benefit for the Special Olympics.


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