Winter should be upon us. Time to bring out the blankets and duvets for a cosy sleep. But do winters continue to be the same? The pollution levels have been reaching alarming levels at this time of the year.
And then, the ominous instances of heart failures during winter.
A disclaimer: this article is not intended to scare the bejesus out of you. It’s intended to prepare you to safeguard your health, especially if you have a heart condition.
According to an article in The Hindustan Times, individuals with cardiac conditions need to take extra precautions, such as keeping an eye on their blood pressure, dressing warmly, staying inside in the early morning and late at night, eating a balanced diet, and managing their stress.
“As the seasons shift and colder temperatures set in the northern parts of the country, it becomes imperative for us to protect our health from the infections and conditions that come with this shift. One area that demands particular attention is the heart, as the winter months can pose additional challenges to cardiovascular well-being.
“According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases impose a substantial global burden, leading to a significant number of fatalities. This underscores the critical importance of early detection and effective management strategies,” Dr Gagandeep S Wander, Associate Director – Interventional Cardiology, Heart Institute, Medanta, Gurugram, told the media house.
He added, “The colder months can have an impact on heart health in significant ways. It can constrict the blood vessels, potentially increasing blood pressure and putting additional strain on the heart. The chilly months can lead to an increased heart rate, and cause the blood to thicken in some cases, elevating the risk of heart disease.
“Further, engaging in physical activity in cold conditions adds extra burden to the cardiovascular system. Indoor exercise is advised during these months, especially for elder people and those with higher susceptibility to cardiovascular issues.
“Cold temperatures are linked to heightened cardiac symptoms such as angina and arrhythmias, along with an elevated risk of myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death. Individuals with already existing heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease, are advised to take extra precautionary measures during harsh winters.”
Monitoring blood pressure, adhering to the discipline of cardiac medication, wearing warm clothes to avoid infection, staying active indoors, having a heart-healthy nutritional meal, managing stress and staying hydrated are imperative for strong heart health.
Dr Gagandeep told HT, “By adopting these strategies—staying active, eating heart-healthy foods, managing stress, staying hydrated, and monitoring blood pressure—you can fortify your cardiovascular well-being. Taking proactive steps will not only help you navigate the challenges of winter but also set the foundation for a heart-healthy lifestyle throughout the year.”