Cold Weather and How it Affects the Heart
Updated: Feb 15, 2022
December brings with it colder temperatures, holiday spirit, and Christmas music. But these chilly days can also bring with them an increased risk of cardiovascular issues with them. This is why it is important to be aware of how cold weather affects your heart. Lower atmospheric pressure, Icy winds, and cold rain can cause your body heat to drop, putting more stress on the cardiovascular system of your body. Our expert cardiologist would like to shed some light in understanding how cold weather could impact your cardiovascular health and what steps to take to better protect yourselves this holiday season!
Heart Issues Can Increase as the Temperature Drops
The winter weather can cause your issues to flare up especially if you have been dealing with pre-existing heart conditions. Your blood vessels constrict and become narrower as the temperature drops. This forces the heart to work harder so that it can pump blood throughout the body to your muscles and organs. It can also lead to higher blood pressure, faster heart rates, and thicker blood. Studies have also shown that, during winters, your white blood cell count may increase, in turn decreasing the oxygen transported throughout the body. These changes therefore increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
As extra strain is put on your heart in colder temperatures, it is crucial to be aware of signs that may point to cardiovascular distress. Some of the possible signs are; shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, flu-like complications, fatigue and fluttering feelings in the chest. If you see these signs, it is advised to get in touch with your cardiologist to protect your heart health.
How to Stay Well in the Winter Cold
You can take to maintaining a healthy heart during the winter by following just a few simple steps. Start by layering up! Including warm clothing like Jackets, plush socks, blankets and scarves to promote better circulation. And choose water-resistant clothing and moisture-wicking options if you are spending extra time outdoors. Couple this with warm,heart-healthy drinks and foods to raise your temperature from within your body. Doing some exercise can also keep your immune system strong despite the cold. In Addition, other indoor exercises like strength-building workouts, stretching, and yoga can help to burn calories without straining your body in the harsh cold temperatures outdoors.
For those who have preexisting cardiovascular issues, we suggest that you schedule an appointment with our cardiovascular specialist at 1 Health Medical Centre; speak to the specialist and clarify if you have any further concerns about your heart's health during winter.
A quick session with our experts can help you in understanding how the cold weather affects your cardiovascular system and also figure out the things to do during winter for a healthier heart.
We look forward to helping you improve your heart health.