Contributed by: Abshar Faheem
Impact of the winter season on your heart health
Winter means slowing down and driving more cautiously especially on icy and snowy roads. We do not know how winters, especially colder months can affect our heart health. As per scientific research, winter cold and other seasonal factors can enhance the risk of a heart attack. Hence, people with heart disease are more likely to get a heart attack and stroke in the winter season. Winter colds can make your arteries tighten that can reduce the blood flow, supply of oxygen, and dip your temperature that can increase the formation of blood clotting.
In the past, more than 100 people died due to heavy shoveling, wet snow, or climbing a hill in the snow or soon after, and some people also got hospitalized who have serious heart-related problems. Most of them were men and especially those who had serious cardiovascular diseases. However, not only shoveling but also hypothermia, a drop in the body temperature, can also cause heart failure, cardiac arrest, and other conditions. In addition, Winter is considered as a flu season where people who get flu are more likely to get heart attacks as per research.
Keep your heart healthy – The 5 Smart Tips
There are various risk factors of heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking cigarettes, diabetes, unhealthy diet, and obesity. We have to manage all these factors to improve the overall health of your heart, especially in winters. Here we have discussed 5 ways to protect your heart health:
Get dressed properly
Ideally, it is advised to stay at home as much as you can during the winter season, especially in snowfall. Winter colds can make your blood vessels narrower making it difficult for your heart to pump blood. But if you want to go outside, dress appropriately. You can wear a warm coat, warm socks and shoes, cover your hands with gloves and your head with a scarf or hat.
This can keep heat inside but if you become overheated, you can take off them. Because overheating is a dangerous sign and can cause low blood pressure in a person with heart disease. Also, if your clothes get wet, do not wear them and change them immediately because wet clothes can cause a loss of heat.
Protect yourself from the flu
Winter also increases your chances of catching the flu due to low humidity caused by cold weather and indoor heating. The flu can probably be harmful to anyone with heart disease. If you observe in yourself some developing symptoms of the flu, connect with your doctor before taking any medication by yourself. In addition, Protect your heart health by cleaning your hands frequently, avoiding people who are sick, and taking an annual flu shot.
Maintain a healthy diet
It is common among People to crave during the winter season. But if you think about diet, your food should be balanced. You can include vegetables, vitamins, and minerals that can enhance the strength of your immune system and fight off flu or pneumonia. You can add a variety of delicious dishes including chicken, chestnut mushroom pasta, roasted tomato, lentil soup, cooked beef, carrot, and coriander soup.
Practice good habits
Amid holiday celebrations and staying adhered inside for months on end, winter can set a severe crimp in healthy living. It is good to engage sometimes, having a nutritious diet and taking regular exercise help to maintain your heart in a good state throughout the season. Try to adjust party snacks with lighter ones, organic foods, and look into indoor physical activities, like weight training, which is excellent for heart health. Connect with your healthcare provider for a piece of advice before commencing any new exercise program.
Manage your heart or circulatory conditions
Your heart requires you to work much harder in colder temperatures to retain blood pumping around your body. If your overall heart health and underlying conditions are well controlled, you’re less prone to have difficulties if you do get a cold as the cold weather begins. A great approach to support your heart health is by getting your medication on time. Maintaining a schedule, setting reminders, and taking a repeat prescription can assist you to stay on top of your routine.
The bottom line
In addition to this, You should avoid overexertion because it can strain your heart. If you feel chest pain and shortness of breath, connect with your healthcare provider immediately even if these symptoms go away. We often indulge in activities and forget the medicines so we recommend you not to forget to take your medicines on time.
You can set reminders and also ensure that you have stock of medicines in heavy snowfall. In all of these, the most important thing you have to look after is your mental health. Long and Darker nights and shorter days in cold winter make us stay indoors and can make us feel low. You can practice mindfulness, meditation, and talk with your friends to avoid mental stress. Managing mental stress is very important as it can affect your immune system. Hormones generated because of stress may affect the immune system and can enhance blood pressure.
To get rid of this, sometimes people consume sugary food and alcohol that ultimately might affect their overall mood. Hence, managing stress maintains your mood and blood pressure. We hope you find this article useful for yourself.
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