Contributed by – Preksha Buttan
As the temperature dips in winters, it brings with it a whole host of great things – stylish winter wear, great food, but, it also brings some troubles – dry skin, chapped lips, high blood pressure. Wait, you didn’t know that your blood pressure spikes in the winters? Don’t hit the panic button yet, we’ll tell you why your blood pressure spikes and we will also talk about 7 easy tips to keep blood pressure under control in winters.
The reason why blood pressure increases in winters is because our blood vessels and arteries narrow down and the body struggles to push the blood through them. This results in increased blood pressure which is associated with health complications like heart diseases and kidney diseases. If you or your loved ones suffer from blood pressure, you’ve got to be extra careful during these months. So, the tips discussed below might help you:
Continue to work out
We understand that it’s a pain to work out in the freezing weather and it doesn’t help that your blanket is so cozy and warm. However, to keep the heart healthy, it is important to exercise. It is not necessary for you to engage in exercises that demand a lot of efforts. Simple morning walk or light cardiovascular exercises will also do the job. If you have the luxury of time, you can avoid the cold and work out a little late when it is a bit warmer. This will also help in preventing extra stress on the heart.
Avoid breathing in cold air
Our lungs work best when they get a certain level of warm and wet air. Inhaling cold and dry air irritates them and they react to it by causing pain. Thus, you need to be careful while going out when it’s cold. If you really have to go out then cover your nose and mouth well with a scarf. That will help in warming the air a little. If you are habitual of working out in the morning and are continuing to do so then warm up before indulging in heavy exercises. This will prepare your lungs to deal with incoming cold air.
Dress in layers
Layering is a great idea – both for your style and health (added benefit of hiding that bulge!). For your outer layer, choose a high-quality jacket that will block the air and moisture. Wear a sweater or sweatshirt as the middle layer. They will act as an insulator and will keep you warm. Choose your base or inner layer a little carefully. Cottons are great for summers but their moisture absorbing quality isn’t good for winters. Go for materials like polyester which will keep the moisture away from your skin. Good quality gloves, scarves and shoes will also help.
Avoid foods with heavy calories
Eating right during winter is the key to beat the cold and maintain normal blood pressure. Don’t load up on calories that are beyond what your body needs on a daily basis. The extra calories you’ll consume will end up getting accumulated in your body in the form of fat which takes extra effort to burn. Also, make sure that your diet has ample amount of fruits and vegetables.
Take special care of elderly
Elderly people are more at risk of high blood pressure and cardiac conditions during winter. Special care should be taken of them. Make sure they are wearing enough warm clothes, eating well and are not putting any kind of pressure on their heart. If you notice any changes in their health then without any delay get their health checkup done. The health checkups will also help in understanding their overall health better as both elder men and women can have different health concerns.
Keep medications handy
If you already have any kind of lung disease, heart disease or suffer from high blood pressure frequently, then keep all the medications handy in this weather. A point to note here is that always make sure your medications are prescribed by your doctor. Do not consume any medicine that you ‘think’ would help.
Get regular health checkups
The simplest way to avoid any medical emergency is to regularly get health checkups done, especially during winters. These checkups will alert you in advance of developing any disease or any kind of deficiency that could cause trouble in the near future. That way you’ll have enough time to act and be safe.
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