Contributed by- Krushna Charan
Do you feel dizziness or shortness of breath in winter? While there may be different reasons behind such indications, but you should not ignore the fact that it could be high blood pressure due to cold weather. Normally high blood pressure occurs when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than normal.
This happens because of low temperature in winters which causes your blood vessels to narrow and increases blood pressure because more pressure is needed to force blood through your narrowed veins and arteries. Here we are going to discuss how the cold weather affects your blood pressure and how you need to manage it.
What causes high blood pressure in winter?
Blood pressure, which is the force of blood pushing against your artery walls, normally rises and falls throughout the day. But due to the weather getting colder, your veins may shrink resulting in high blood pressure. This increase in blood pressure in cold weather can have very adverse effects on your body, particularly damaging the heart and other critical organs.
Researchers have found that high blood pressure in winter may be related to shorter days, less activity, or weight gain during the winter months. Fluctuations in blood pressure can also occur if you move from a warmer climate to a colder one quickly. Some high blood pressure symptoms include dizziness, nose-bleeding, fatigue, vision problems, chest pain, and difficulty in breathing, etc.
How can you reduce high blood pressure in winter?
While the winter season brings us some relief from the uncomfortable summers, it also triggers several health conditions, including high blood pressure or hypertension. By following these steps you can reduce high blood pressure in winters.
- Lose weight: Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep, which further raises your blood pressure. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes in controlling blood pressure. And regular exercise could be one of the most effective ways of losing weight.
- Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet rich in potassium, which can be found in vegetables, and low-fat dairy products can reduce your blood pressure.
- Reduce your salt intake: If you eat too much sodium which is found in common salt, your body starts to retain fluid and this causes the blood pressure to rise sharply. You should avoid processed foods because they have high salt content. Even a small reduction in the intake of common salt in your diet can reduce your blood pressure significantly.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Binge drinking of alcohol can raise blood pressure by several points and reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. It can also cause the body to lose heat more rapidly and raise blood pressure. So, you should cut your alcohol consumption.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking can raise your blood pressure levels by affecting your lungs and heart. People with high blood pressure who smoke are at greater risk of developing heart diseases and stroke at some point. Quitting smoking can help your blood pressure return to normal.
- Reduce stress: Occasional stress can cause high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking. You can manage the stress by recognizing it. You can also manage your stress by meditating and practising yoga.
- Monitor your blood pressure regularly: Home monitoring is the best way to keep a track on your blood pressure and alert you about your health condition.
Foods that could lower blood pressure in winters
A healthy diet rich in certain vitamins and minerals could help you fight blood pressure effectively. . Here are some seasonal foods that may help manage your blood pressure levels during the harsh winter months:
- Radish: Radish is a seasonal food in winter, which is rich in potassium and helps to regulate the blood flow. By keeping the blood flow stable, it can manage the blood pressure levels.
- Beetroot: Beetroots are a rich source of vitamin B that help improve nerve function. The antioxidants in beetroot maintain blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Carrots: The potassium in carrots helps lower the tension in your blood vessels, which in turn, helps to reduce your blood pressure. It also tends to reduce the bad effects of sodium and improves your heart health.
- Spinach: Spinach is rich in potassium, magnesium and lutein, all of which help to prevent thickening of artery walls, thus reducing heart attack risks and managing blood pressure.
It’s up to you how you can change your lifestyle to remain healthy. The key to prevention of blood pressure is recognizing the causes of it and changing your habits accordingly. If you have high blood pressure already, monitor your blood pressure regularly as the season changes and talk to your doctor for specific advice.
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