5 precautions you must take to keep heart issues at bay in winter

Published on: 15 January 2022, 17:00 pm IST

Heart patients need extra care during the winter season. Here are some simple, but effective tips on how you can stay safe from the risk of cardiac issues.

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Protect your heart in winter. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

As the temperature drops with chilled winds and snow in some areas, it can become extremely challenging for a few. For people with weak immunity and low tolerance towards winter, it can become a season of health problems. Therefore, it is important to take care of your health and be aware of the symptoms, especially if you are a patient of heart or cardiovascular diseases.

Some people love being outdoors, but you should avoid giving unnecessary stress to the body in the cold weather. Even walking or strolling in chilly winds can be strenuous for people with a faint heart.

Effect of winter on heart

Many people are clueless about the fact that winter can be dangerous, even for playful activities. The stress attached with it can adversely affect your body. A small negligence can land you up in conditions like hypothermia. It is a medical condition where your body temperature drops below normal and can lead to death in some cases. The person suffering from hypothermia may also experience a lack of coordination, mental confusion, slowed reactions, shivering, and sleepiness.

Children and elderly are the most vulnerable to hypothermia. Their reduced fatty skin and inability to sense body temperature makes it dangerous.

According to the resources of NCBI, there is a clear seasonal trend of cardiovascular diseases, with the highest incidence occurring during the colder winter months. This phenomenon likely contributes to the number of deaths occurring in winter.

heart myths
Heart conditions aren’t just for older people! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

People with health complications especially, heart problems, often suffer chest discomfort or body ache due to cold weather. Besides low temperature, chilled wind, winter rains, and snow can add up to the consequences of losing body heat. Similarly, dampness in the atmosphere or body also causes the body to lose heat faster. It makes you more prone to the risk of suffering a cardiac stroke.

If you are someone with heart disease or delicate health, cold weather can make it even worse. You might need immediate medical attention. So, for anyone with heart problems, here are a few practical precautions that can help you.

Few tips for people with heart issues to stay safe during winter:

1. Dress appropriately

Staying warm is necessary for winters. So, wear insulating layers. Choose materials for the base, mid and outer layer wisely to protect yourself against harsh elements of winter.

feeling cold all the time
Feeling cold? Cover yourself properly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Take short breaks

If you are someone who cannot stay inside and want to enjoy outdoor activities, make sure you take short breaks in between to maintain your body temperature. This will help in preserving your body’s heat and minimize the risks.

3. Stay active

We all love lazy winters but staying fit and active will improve your heart health. Make sure to exercise indoors and not expose yourself to the chilled weather. Aim for a simple workout or consult your doctor for better advice.

working out without underwear
Stay active despite the harsh cold weather. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Avoid smoking or drinking

Smoking increases the risks of cardiac stroke and is injurious to health anyway. Consumption of alcohol might make you feel warmer but carries potential risk when your body gets exposed to outside cold weather.

5. Maintain a healthy diet

Winter season has unlimited options of seasonal vegetables and fruits. Eat a balanced diet and limit your intake of sodium. Talk to your doctor if you need to follow any particular dietary plan.

The above tips might be common, but at times we tend to neglect them. In case you are a heart patient, stay alert. If you experience any new symptoms, discomfort, or anything out of the ordinary, do not ignore or delay. Remember, a slight negligence today can turn into tragedy tomorrow.

Dr Bipin Dubey Dr Bipin Dubey

HOD And Consultant, Cardiac Science, HCMCT Manipal Hospital, Dwarka

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