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Heart attacks are one of the most common causes of death these days. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. While many risk factors would cause heart-related problems, seasonal changes can also be a risk to your heart! And yes, Winter is often the weather when most heart attacks strike!
While there is no exact cause, a lot of experts think our body’s physiology and a drop in temperatures impact the heart. Also, several studies suggest that during winter, our body’s nervous system (that connects our internal organ to the brain by spinal nerves) activation increases resulting in the narrowing of blood vessels. When it happens, the blood pressure levels increase and the heart starts pumping harder. And there is a greater incidental risk of strokes, arrhythmias, heart failure, and other cardiovascular disorders.
Winter chills can be pretty hard to deal with. When the temperature drops, automatically our body starts working hard to regulate heat which ends up tolling heart functions. So when someone is already a heart patient or has a history of heart attack could be at high risk with no doubt. Also during winter, the body’s oxygen requirement increases while the narrowed blood vessels make it hard for the oxygen to reach the heart, posing risk for heart attack.
It’s not just the oxygen requirement. With the onset of winter, people could find it hard to be physically active which is bad for the heart. Food habits can also change, and a higher intake of cholesterol-prone foods impact heart health heavily. The other concerns could include stress, rising smog, and pollution levels which can aggravate inflammation and cause heart troubles.
Heart attack can be a significant risk at any age. With a higher risk during winter, it is vital to take necessary precautions. Here are a few tips to reduce your risk of getting heart attacks:
- Stay physically active- If you find it hard to step out of your house, do home workouts, yoga, and heart-friendly aerobic moves.
- Dress appropriately- Make sure to dress well and cover yourself suited for the weather.
- Keep a check on your eating habits- Winter can trigger you to have more sweet and fried foods, which can be high in sugars, cholesterol, and fats. Make sure to track your eating habits. Choose healthy alternatives and also limit alcohol and tobacco consumption.
To prevent sudden heart attacks, every individual must take a timely preventive screening, assess risk- factors and familial risks. Visit intuittesting.com to find whether you are at genetic risk for a heart attack or stroke! Click to take the heart quiz!