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DT Health: Chill can strain your heart

Additionally, those over 40 must limit consumption of saturated fat, oily foods, and carbohydrates to maintain a healthy diet.

CHENNAI: Heart attacks are devastating but studies have shown that heart attacks are more common in the winter. Doctors say during winter, our arteries tend to squeeze and get narrowed, to keep the body warm.

Due to the cold weather, the flow of blood gets restricted, making it harder for the blood to be pumped through the blood vessels which in turn disturbs the blood supply to the heart.

On the other hand, exertion in winter causes the artery to constrict further resulting in insufficient blood supply and angina-like symptoms, and in severe cases, result in a heart attack.

Prone to winter heart attack are people with

  • Prior history of heart issues

  • Past cases of heart attack

  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol

  • Smoking and heavy drinking habit

  • Sedentary lifestyle

“Though exercise is beneficial for our health, exercising outside in cold weather may not be a good idea. Since temperature outside tends to be very low, walking in cold weather can cause constriction of the arteries, which can lead to a heart attack. It is recommended to keep yourself properly covered while walking outside in cold weather. Also, do not be aggressive while exercising outside. Always have a warm-up and cool-down phase,” said Dr Rockey Katheria, Consultant - Interventional Cardiology at Manipal Hospital.

Rather than working out outside in cold weather, indoor walking, yoga, pilates, and breathing exercises are recommended during this season.

Aside from exercising, one should also pay attention to their health and diet.

He added it is advised to monitor blood pressure, blood sugar levels and body weight regularly.

Additionally, those over 40 must limit consumption of saturated fat, oily foods, and carbohydrates to maintain a healthy diet. If a person already has a heart issue, consulting an expert and keeping a regular heart check-up is recommended.

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