While the holiday season is undeniably the most festive time of the year, it’s also something that can easily leave anyone stressed out. From shopping for gifts, preparing foods to sorting out some family drama, there’s a lot of pressure and worries that can come with wintertime. If your doctor told you that you are at risk of having a heart attack, it’s especially important for you to keep your ticker out of harm’s way when the nights grow longer.
Below you will come across some of the reasons why winter can considerably increase your chance of having a heart attack. Don’t forget to share this article on your various social media sites later on to keep everyone you love out of the emergency room during the holidays.
Constricted Blood Vessels
In order to keep your body safe and warm during the coldest months of the year, your blood vessels constrict or tighten to make sure that your core, where most of your vital organs are situated, maintains a normal temperature. This can cause the heart to pump much faster and harder than usual just to make sure that blood is properly circulated throughout your body. Save your blood vessels from constricting excessively and your heart from working harder by dressing warm, paying extra attention to your head, hands and feet where much of your body heat could escape.
Doing Extra Work
Shoveling snow can definitely put your heart health in danger, say the experts. All the hard work can further strain your heart which is already exhausted with trying to keep your entire body warm. What’s more, you may easily mistake chest pain related to a heart attack for muscle pain brought about by shoveling. It’s a good idea for you to simply pay someone who is more suited to shovel snow, such as a teenager. If you have no choice but to do the work yourself, make sure that you take frequent breaks to give your ticker some much-needed rest.
Eating More Than Usual
It can be extra challenging to avoid stuffing your face during the holiday season. It’s for the fact that it’s when winter strikes when a lot of delectable treats pop up everywhere, including those that tend to show up once a year only. It is a complete no-no for someone who has heart disease to pig out because much of the blood is diverted to the digestive system, which is something that can definitely put a lot of stress on the heart. If you don’t want to miss those delicious treats, stick to having small frequent meals.
Consuming Unhealthy Foods
Aside from being mouthwatering, a lot of holiday foods and drinks tend to be unhealthy. All the sugar, sodium, fat and grease can certainly wreak havoc on the cardiovascular health of someone who is diagnosed with heart disease and at risk of having a heart attack. Gaining excess pounds is very common, too, which is something that can further wreak havoc to the heart. Before heading to a party, consider drinking plenty of water to make it easier for you to steer clear of having lots of unhealthy foods and drinks. Also, do your best to squeeze in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Increased Flu Risk
One of the most common infections that can strike during wintertime is the flu. For young and healthy individuals, it should not be a huge problem as their immune systems can take care of things. However, it is a completely different story for older people who have heart disease or at risk of it. That’s because the flu can put a lot of strain on the body, and this in turn can have a negative impact on the heart. You can steer clear of the flu by frequently washing your hands and avoiding contact with an infected person. Or you may also get a flu shot.