HEALTH MOTIVATION : HOLD YOUR HEART IN COLD

Friday, February 21, 2014



heart
India, you might know, is infamous for being the Heart Disease Capital of the world. On an average three million people die of heart disease annually in India. The situation is getting worse with every passing day despite known initiatives both by government machinery as well as by medical fraternity. Yes, there are many reasons for this problem, but one of the foremost reasons has been our poor lifestyle and also lack of basic awareness about this silent killer.

As per the latest medical research from the United Kingdom, even a 0.67 degree Celsius drop in temperature in winter season, as many as 200 more cases of heart attacks are reported in one day.

According to Life Science report, “Cold temperatures are known to raise blood pressure and also increase levels of certain proteins that could increase the risk of blood clots..."

It is worth mentioning here that winter is the most common season for heart attacks. Researchers have found that there are up to 53% more heart attacks in winter than in summer, twice as many heart attacks a day in January as compared to July.

In fact, when the temperature drops substantially in winter, our heart is required to work harder in order to maintain body temperature and health of arteries as during this season with tightening of arteries, blood flow is restricted and hence reduction in supply of blood to the heart. The combined effect of all these factors could trigger a heart attack.

During cold, those with heart disease are at special risk and so the elderly ones. As people get older, their ability to maintain normal body temperature goes down. Consequently, with dip in temperature in winter season, many a times suddenly, there is strong possibility of their falling prey to Hypothermia. Hypothermia denotes a condition wherein the body temperature falls below 95 degree Fahrenheit. The patient confronts this situation when the human body can't produce enough energy to keep it adequately warm. This can be fatal as it is found that heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. 

It is a common knowledge that our best source of vitamin D is through our skin being exposed to sun. Now, in order to compensate for lack of sunlight, due to sedentary habits of relatively affluent urban population and corporate employees in India too, it is advised by medical practitioners to take vitamin D3 supplement as vitamin D deficiency has been found to be associated with many ailments including arterial stiffness - a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

It being so, it is absolutely desirable to keep our body warm enough by wearing layers of clothing. It is interesting to know that air remains trapped between different layers of cloths thereby, forming a protective insulation. Protecting the head by putting on a hat, a monkey cap etc. also works well as it prevents loss of body temperature. Keeping hands and feet warm enough is advisable as heat is lost rapidly through these body parts. Physical activity which includes breathing exercise (Pranayam) and healthy eating are equally important during this period. 

Image result for free photo of pranayam

Not to over emphasize, consulting your doctor immediately in any medical situation is always a must.

As always, I'm keen to know what you think on this subject. Hence, request you to post comments to share your views and experiences.   

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