Expert’s Advice for a Heart-Healthy Winter Season
New Delhi (India), February 2: As winter wraps us in its cool embrace, our heart deserves some special attention. This article brings together top cardiologists to share advice on navigating the winter season with heart health in mind. Join us as these experts offer practical tips—from what to eat to simple lifestyle changes—to keep your heart happy and healthy during the colder months. Let’s explore how to make this winter a heart-healthy one with guidance from our trusted cardiologists.
Dr. Sanjat Chiwane, MD, DM, FESC, FSCAI, Director Cardiology at Max Gurgaon and Max Smart Saket
During winter, heart patients should prioritize several precautions to safeguard their cardiovascular health. The cold weather can constrict blood vessels, potentially increasing blood pressure and the risk of heart-related complications. To counteract this, individuals should dress warmly, including layering and covering extremities, to maintain body heat. Additionally, staying physically active is crucial for enhancing blood circulation and preventing stiffness. A heart-healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can aid in maintaining optimal cholesterol levels. Adequate hydration is often overlooked in winter, so it’s important to drink enough water. Moreover, individuals should be cautious with activities that can overexert the heart, especially in the cold. Following these precautions, along with regular check-ups and adherence to prescribed medications, can significantly contribute to a heart patient’s well-being during the winter months.
Dr. Lal Daga, MBBS, DNB (Med.), DNB (Card) MNAMS, FESC (International), FEAC, Advanced Cardiology Training Programme (Seoul), Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Hospital, Ahmedabad
Dr. Lal Daga. A renowned cardiologist at Apollo Hospital, Ahmedabad has cautioned that hypertension, Heart attack and stroke increase significantly in the winter season. Don’t neglect even if you feel minor symptoms like headache giddiness, chest pain, breathlessness or chest discomfort. Always seek a medical opinion. Dr. Daga emphasized that seeking an early opinion can be lifesaving. Keep yourself in a warm environment. Keep your BP & Blood sugar in control. Take your medicine regularly. Your preventative checkup and cardiac evaluation can save you from these increasing episodes of heart attack and stroke. The crucial advice of Dr. Lal Daga can be helpful to prevent these episodes if you follow sincerely. These precautions can save many young deaths if we predict and treat them as early as possible as per Dr. Lal Daga.
Dr. Puneet K Verma, Chief Interventional Cardiologist cum Structural Heart Specialist, Ace Heart and Vascular Institute, Mohali
During winter, heart patients should take specific precautions to safeguard their cardiovascular health. Colder temperatures can constrict blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart-related issues. To mitigate these risks, individuals with heart conditions should maintain a balanced diet rich in heart-healthy foods, ensuring adequate intake of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids. Staying physically active is crucial for improving blood circulation, but it’s essential to exercise indoors to avoid exposure to extreme cold. Layering clothing and keeping the body warm helps prevent the constriction of blood vessels. Additionally, staying hydrated is important, as dehydration can strain the heart. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider to tailor these general recommendations to individual health conditions. Regular check-ups, adherence to prescribed medications, and maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle contribute to a safer and more comfortable winter for heart patients.
Dr. Rajinder Thaploo, MBBS, MD Medicine, DNB Cardiology, Senior Consultant &Interventional Cardiologist – Vivekanand Medical Institution, Palampur
In winter, safeguarding cardiovascular health demands intentional efforts. Engage in indoor aerobic activities to optimize blood circulation and stability. Prioritize a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, offering anti-inflammatory and vasodilatory benefits crucial for heart well-being. Counteract fluid loss induced by cold conditions with careful hydration practices. Simultaneously, meticulous thermoregulation is imperative to attenuate cardiac stress. Adherence to these multifaceted strategies underscores a comprehensive approach to fortifying cardiovascular resilience in winter, effectively mitigating potential adverse outcomes.
Dr. Ravindra L Kulkarni, MD, DNB, FSCAI Cardiology, Sr. Consultant, Physician & Cardiologist, Founder – Just for Hearts: Virtual Clinics for HealThy Life, Medicover Hospitals, Pune
Most of those having a heart attack wait too long to seek medical help, and that can be a fatal mistake. People delay seeking help during a heart attack, mistaking symptoms for acidity or muscular pain. Recognizing signs early is crucial, as delayed response impacts treatment outcomes. They are not accepting that their symptoms could be serious. Feeling embarrassed about “causing a scene”, or going to the hospital & finding out it is a false alarm. Do not understand the importance of getting to the hospital right away. As a result, most heart attack victims wait 2 or more hours after their symptoms begin before they seek medical help. This delay can result in death or permanent heart damage – damage that can greatly reduce their ability to do everyday activities. This is how many patients and families make mistakes and that results in fatalities.
Dr. S. S. Murthy, MBBS, DNB, MNAMS, Director & HOD – Ayushman Hospital, New Delhi
People with heart disease and those with a risk of heart disease especially those with diabetes, hypertension, smokers and alcoholics should be very careful during the winter season. The cold causes blood vessels to contract. This can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. Angina, or chest pain due to coronary heart disease, can also worsen in winter when coronary arteries constrict in the cold. Winter wind can make this more difficult because it causes your body to lose heat more quickly. Body temp below 95°F risks heart muscle damage from hypothermia. Everyone should keep themselves warm. Avoid smoking and drinking excessive alcohol. Do not exercise when it is too cold. Exercise should be done by covering themselves with warm clothes and going outside when there is a little bit of sunshine and the climate is slightly warm.
Dr. Jaydutt B Tekani, MBBS, MD, DNB Cardiology, FSCAI, AFESC, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist – K K Patel Super Speciality Hospital, Bhuj, Gujarat
In steering through the winter season with a focus on heart health, Dr. Jaydutt Tekani, a renowned cardiologist, advises individuals to kickstart their wellness journey with a well-balanced diet, incorporating whole grains, lean proteins, and a diverse range of fruits and vegetables. Maintaining adequate hydration, despite the cooler climate, is underscored as a fundamental aspect of cardiovascular care. Dr. Tekani recommends embracing winter-friendly exercises, whether indoors or bundled-up outdoor activities, to actively promote cardiovascular fitness. Crucially, he emphasizes the need for routine health check-ups, including vigilant monitoring of cholesterol levels and blood pressure, positioning proactive measures at the forefront of heart well-being. By strategically reshaping these priorities, individuals can effectively fortify their hearts against seasonal challenges, guided by the expert insights of Dr. Jaydutt Tekani.
Dr. B V A RANGA REDDY, MD, DM, FSCAI, Consultant International Cardiologist – Apollo Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad
In the embrace of winter’s crisp air, Dr. B V A Ranga Reddy, a dedicated cardiologist, extends advice for nurturing your heart through the season. Prioritise your cardiovascular health, with tailored exercises suitable for the winter season—think brisk walks or indoor workouts, ensuring your heart stays robust and your well-being flourishes. Consider adapting your diet to embrace heart-friendly choices, incorporating omega-3-rich foods like fish and nuts alongside seasonal fruits and vegetables. In the chilly air, hydration is key; combat the dryness by keeping your fluid intake optimal, as it impacts blood viscosity. Manage stress actively, recognizing its impact on heart health. Engage in relaxation techniques—whether meditation or deep breathing—to alleviate the burdens on your heart. Stay connected with your cardiologist for regular check-ups, ensuring timely adjustments to medications if needed.
Dr. L. Kiran Kumar Reddy, M. D., D. M. Cardiology (JIPMER), Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Ameerpet, Hyderabad
Winter poses challenges for heart health. Preexisting Cardiovascular conditions should be mindful of risks with cold temperatures. Cold weather causes constriction of blood vessels and increased blood pressure and workload on the heart. Also associated with increased infections and strain on the Heart. Cool-weather leads to decreased physical activity, dehydration and dietary changes like consumption of calorie-rich foods causing weight gain. So physical exertion in cold weather causes additional stress and triggers Cardiovascular events like heart attacks. So, to keep one heart safe during winter, dress warm when going outside, stay physically active indoors, avoid strenuous activities in cold weather, stay hydrated, maintain heart healthy diet, get vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia and treat respiratory infections early. Always seek medical attention promptly when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack like chest pain or breathing difficulty.
Dr Amit Munjal MBBS, MD(MEDICINE), DNB (Cardiology) cardiologist at Munjal Heart Center, Fatehabad
Dr. Amit Munjal, extend advice for nurturing your heart through the season. Prioritize your cardiovascular health, with tailored exercises suitable for the winter season like try not to sit for prolonged periods. Do any form of exercise whether brisk walking, Running, Jogging, Cycling or Swimming. It is essential to do warm up before starting exercise, especially in cold weather. The most important risk factor is Smoking: Tobacco is a big No No. Any smoker puts himself /herself at extremely high risk of Heart disease. Manage stress actively, recognizing its impact on heart health. We all have stressful jobs especially when we doctors have lots of stress so it’s better to avoid stress by doing yoga, meditation, and exercise. Prioritize six hours of nightly, uninterrupted sleep; minimize late-night parties for overall well-being and health. Like cars and appliances, our bodies require regular check-ups. Visit your physician or cardiologist for timely adjustments to medications, ensuring overall health maintenance.
Dr. Ashutosh Kumar, MD (BHU), DM (PGI), FACC (USA), FHRS (USA), FESC (EURO), FSCAI (USA) PDCC (EP), CCDS (IBHRE, USA), CEPS (IBHRE, USA) Senior Consultant Cardiologist And Clinical Director Cardiac Electrophysiology (EP) at CARE HOSPITALS, Hyderabad
In the winter, individuals with heart conditions need to take specific precautions to protect their cardiovascular health. The colder temperatures can lead to the constriction of blood vessels, elevating the risk of heart-related issues. To minimize these risks, heart patients need to adhere to a well-balanced diet that includes heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids. Engaging in indoor physical activities is essential for improving blood circulation while avoiding exposure to extreme cold. Wearing layered clothing and maintaining body warmth are effective strategies to prevent blood vessel constriction. Staying adequately hydrated is also important, as dehydration can strain the heart. Seeking guidance from a healthcare provider is recommended to customize these general suggestions based on individual health conditions. Regular check-ups, adherence to prescribed medications, and embracing a heart-healthy lifestyle collectively contribute to a safer and more comfortable winter for individuals with heart conditions.
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