One of the most common health concerns people face during the winter is the cold, although many people associate this risk with severe conditions like hypothermia or frostbite. However, the change in temperature might have unanticipated effects on your health, particularly your heart.
Keeping this in mind, it’s important to understand the cause and ways in which we can protect our hearts in this weather. Let’s discuss what causes heart attacks to be more common in winter and how can we prevent this.
Are heart attacks more common in winter?
Blood vessels constrict in response to the cold. The chance of stroke and heart attack may also rise as a result of this. Wintertime coronary artery constriction can make angina, or chest pain from coronary heart disease, worse.
Your heart works harder to maintain a normal body temperature when it’s cold outside. Because winter winds force your body to lose heat more quickly, they might make the situation more challenging. Your heart muscle might be harmed by hypothermia if your body temperature falls below 95 degrees.
The coronary arteries may narrow as a result of the greater blood pressure, which might decrease the amount of blood and oxygen reaching the heart and its muscles. The result could be a heart attack. Compared to the summer, when we sweat more, our blood volume is likewise higher in the winter. Higher blood pressure is a result of the body retaining more fluid.
In a general context, cold weather also affects how people behave. Weight gain and decreased physical exercise are two examples of this. Both of these factors increase the likelihood of experiencing complications that could result in a heart attack. Additionally, people may eat more food, which exacerbates the problem of weight gain.
The decreased amounts of sun exposure are another significant effect. This decreased exposure to the sun might result in Vitamin D deficiency either because people spend more time indoors or because some regions just receive less sunlight. Numerous research has looked into the connection between vitamin D insufficiency and cardiovascular disorders. Although there is no evidence to support it, vitamin D intake may be indirectly linked to a reduction in heart problems.
How to keep a heart healthy in winter season
Like most ailments, there are preventive measures that can help lower your risk of disease. Similarly, certain corrective and preventive measures can help lower your risk of heart attacks in winter.
Follow these measures for better heart health:
- Eat well during the winter. Avoid foods that are fried, fatty, sugary, or high in cholesterol as these can raise your chance of developing heart disease.
- The most crucial thing is to stay warm. If you are susceptible to chilly temperatures, strive to dress in enough layers to maintain your body’s warmth.
- Stay physically active through the winter season even if it seems tough. Exercise need not be done outside. You can exercise inside by doing yoga, dancing, gentle aerobics, home exercises, or meditation. Regular exercise helps you stay fit and keeps your body warm.
- Avoid going beyond your limits. If you have heart disease, try to stay away from intense labour and take short breaks between tasks to rest.
- Refrain from using alcohol excessively.
- Keep a tight eye on medical concerns like kidney, vascular and blood pressure issues. If these illnesses are not treated, they increase your risk of developing heart problems.
- Stop smoking since it raises your risk of developing heart issues.
- Eat hot food in the cold to keep your body warm.
- Staying indoors on chilly days is advised if you have heart disease in order to avoid abrupt cold strokes.
Keep these tips in mind if you want to maintain a healthy heart through the winter season and beyond.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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