Many people cherish the winter season, but the cold that most people enjoy can also be a nightmare for many people. Children, old people, sick people, disabled people, and people with many other chronic health issues have a hard time during the cold.
It is especially dangerous for people with any kind of heart issues – high blood pressure, any form of arrhythmia, and even a weakened heart.
This is how the cold affects your heart, no matter what your age
Doctors say that the cold causes your vessels to shrink, and it puts extra pressure on your heart. Your heart tries to pump with more strength than usual, but then oxygen supply is reduced because of faster pumping. So the heart has to push for not only pumping more blood but also to demand more oxygen from your lungs. This significantly increases your blood pressure.
People with heart issues or a history of heart failure can suffer tremendously if this happens because the heart may not survive the workload.
A study says that your risk of heart failure increases by 31% during winter. People without any pre-existing heart conditions can also develop heart issues due to exposure to cold.
It was also reported that even young and healthy people spending time outdoors in the cold can sometimes suffer an accidental heart failure due to triggered hypothermia.
For the people staying indoors – people with hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and the people who smoke or chew tobacco – can be at risk.
Here’s what you can do to keep your heart and yourself safe from the nightmare of the cold:
#1. Stay warm
Keep yourself warm by wearing woolen clothes, gloves, caps, socks, etc. Make sure your house is warm and safely sealed to prevent the outside cold from coming in. Take hot beverages and hot meals frequently.
#2. Monitor your blood pressure every day
Doctors advise that you should monitor your blood pressure every day and seek medical attention if you find it rising suddenly. The cold shrinks your blood vessels and puts extra pressure on your heart.
#3. No smoking
Smoking reduces the oxygen flow to your lungs, and if your heart is already in need of extra oxygen then smoking is going to cause even more trouble. Smoking is also shown to increase your heart rate and blood pressure, increasing your chances of suffering a stroke.
#4. Eat healthy
Apart from eating hot meals and drinking hot beverages, make sure you are eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods that are overstuffed with salt, sugar or oil.
Featured Image Courtesy: Healthcure