How to Protect Your Heart in the winter
When it comes to heart health, you already know that you should watch what you eat and engage in regular physical activity. But did you know that you should be extra cautious during the winter?
Cold weather can raise your heart rate or blood pressure. In addition, your heart may need to work harder to pump blood. Temperature changes can also affect people who have heart disease or other heart-related conditions.
When the Weather Is Cold
Cold weather causes arteries to narrow, limiting blood flow to the heart. Strenuous activities, such as shoveling snow, can put a significant strain on the heart and trigger a heart attack when combined with low temperatures.
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When it’s cold, you may experience chest pain because your body is working harder than usual to keep warm.
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Stay hydrated, work slowly, and take breaks if you do your own shoveling. To lighten the load, use a shovel with a small blade. Dress in layers so that you can remove clothing if you become too hot, as overheating can result in a heart attack.
Seasonal Influenza and COVID
Influenza (flu) symptoms include inflammation, dehydration, and fever, all of which can put additional strain on your heart. COVID-19 may cause symptoms similar to those described above. According to a 2018 study, people with heart disease are six times more likely to have a heart attack after getting the flu.
Precautions for Covid
Getting a flu shot, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding sick people are all common recommendations for avoiding the flu.
With the coronavirus spreading across the country, additional precautions include wearing a mask, staying at home as much as possible and staying at least 6 feet away from anyone who does not live with you, even if they do not appear to be sick. Rest, stay hydrated, and follow your doctor’s advice if you get the flu or COVID-19.