Protect your heart by taking proactive measures to overcome the difficulties that may arise during the season.
As you prepare for winter, don't forget to also consider your health, particularly your heart. In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, consider taking extra precautions to safeguard your heart during the colder months. Follow these tips to ensure your heart stays healthy during the winter season:
Stay up-to-date on vaccinations
It's essential to prioritise your health and take steps to protect yourself from COVID-19 and the flu during the winter season. Not only can these illnesses have serious consequences for your overall well-being, but they can also negatively impact your heart health. COVID-19, in particular, has been linked to cardiovascular issues in people of all ages and health backgrounds. Make sure you get the Covid-19 booster or precaution dose this year.
Additionally, research has shown that getting a flu shot can significantly reduce your risk of a heart attack, by as much as 45%. . Make sure to get the appropriate dosage of a COVID-19 vaccine or other preventive measures to keep yourself and your heart healthy during the winter season
Inventory your medications
Be mindful of the medications in cold and flu remedies, as they may contain substances that can be harmful to your heart. Decongestants and cough suppressants, for example, can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or a history of stroke, it's best to avoid cold remedies that contain decongestants.
Cold remedies may contain ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is used to reduce fever or relieve pain. However, ibuprofen has been associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, so be cautious when using it or other medications containing this ingredient.
Make an exercise plan
Exercise yoga and aasanas, which helps to strengthen your heart and lungs, is essential for maintaining good heart health, a healthy immune system, and overall well-being. However, it can be challenging to maintain an exercise routine during the colder months.
Plan ahead for how you will stay active during the winter by identifying indoor exercise options that work for you. This might involve working out at home, hiring a personal trainer, or consulting 1:1 session with fitness coach. You might also consider walking indoors at a mall or participating in group fitness classes through a healthcare aggregator. Choose activities that are suitable for your age group and interests
Start managing stress
To reduce the risk of heart-related issues during the winter season, it's important to manage stress effectively. Stress activates the body's fight-or-flight response, which can cause the heart to beat faster, breathing to quicken, and muscles to tense. While this response can be helpful in short-term situations, chronic stress can contribute to clogged arteries and high blood pressure, leading to serious health problems like heart attacks and strokes. To manage stress, consider incorporating relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, or deep breathing exercises into your routine. Additionally, make sure to get enough sleep and engage in regular physical activity to help manage stress and maintain heart health.
Developing a healthy winter eating and drinking plan
During the winter, it can be easy to stray from a healthy diet or consume too much alcohol, which can have negative effects on your heart. Overeating high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, or high-calorie foods can lead to weight gain and increase your risk for cardiovascular disease by raising your blood sugar or cholesterol levels. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to atrial fibrillation, a condition characterized by an irregular heartbeat that may be temporary or permanent. To maintain a healthy heart, it's important to be mindful of your eating and drinking habits during the winter season
To avoid negative impacts on your heart health during the winter season, it's important to be mindful of your food and alcohol consumption. Instead of indulging in holiday or comfort foods frequently or in large quantities, try to enjoy them only occasionally and in moderation. If your doctor approves, limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day. If you're having trouble sticking to these guidelines, it might be helpful to consider the potential risks of not doing so. Heart attacks can be a wake-up call for people to prioritise their heart health, but it's much better to be proactive and take preventive measures rather than waiting until a health crisis occurs. Plan ahead now to ensure you're making healthy choices that support your heart health throughout the winter season.
It is important to prioritise your heart health during the winter season by staying up-to-date on vaccinations, being mindful of the medications you take, developing an exercise plan, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy diet and level of alcohol consumption. To ensure you are fully protected against uninvited flu and chronic diseases, it is recommended to invest in a HealthAssure health plan. With access to a wide range of preventive and curative healthcare services, a HealthAssure health plan can provide you with the peace of mind and protection you need to stay healthy and confident this winter season.
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