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4 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Protect your heart during cold weather

Protect your heart during cold weather

As an Arctic front envelops much of the United States, the American Heart Association wants folks to know that shoveling snow in sub-freezing temperatures can be hard on the heart, especially for those with heart disease.

Here are some shoveling safety tips from the association:

•    When shoveling, take frequent breaks so you don't put too much stress on your heart. Assess how you feel during those breaks.

•    Don't drink alcohol before, during or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol can increase your sensation of warmth, and cause you to underestimate the amount of strain your body is feeling.

•    To prevent hypothermia (a dangerous drop in body temperature), wear layers of warm clothing that trap your body heat. Wear a hat to prevent the loss of body heat through your head.

•    If you have a medical concern or question, or have symptoms of a medical condition such as heart disease or diabetes, you should consult a doctor before shoveling or exercising in cold weather.

•    Know the warning signs of heart attack. But even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, have it checked out. Don't wait to call 9-1-1. Minutes matter in a heart attack, and fast action can be a lifesaver.

•    Learn CPR. It can significantly improve a victim's chances of survival. If an adult collapses, call 9-1-1 and begin pushing hard and fast in the middle of the victim's chest until help arrives, the heart association said.

During winter, it’s important to know the effects of cold weather on your body, and the risks for your heart health. Elderly people are especially vulnerable in winter months, particularly if the cold causes a drop in their body temperature (hypothermia).

Cold weather makes your heart work harder to keep your body warm, so your heart rate and blood pressure may increase. These changes can cause heart problems, especially if you already have a heart condition.

The cold can also cause changes to your blood that may increase the risk of developing blood clots, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke. The effects of cold weather could lead to serious illness or even death, so it is very important to stay warm during the winter.

There are many things you can do to stay warm, and keep your health safe from the cold weather:

•    Keeping your home warm and staying indoors. Keep the temperature at least 18°C (65°F) and use a hot water bottle or an electric blanket to keep warm in bed.

•    Staying active indoors to help keep you warm. Move around at least once an hour and avoid sitting still for long periods.

•    Having regular hot meals and drinks to give your body the energy it needs to keep you warm.

•    Wrapping up warm in layers of clothing. Wearing a few thin layers can help keep you warmer than one thick layer. A lot of heat is lost from your head, so wear a hat and scarf when going outside.

•Learning how to make your home more energy efficient and making sure you’re receiving any financial help that you’re entitled to by contacting the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 03459 15 15 15.

•    If you feel like you’re coming down with a cough or a cold, don’t wait for it to get worse. Get advice from your GP or pharmacist.

The NHS also has tips on how to keep healthy during cold weather, as part of its Stay Well This Winter campaign.  

Protect yourself by wrapping up warm, and consider having a flu vaccine.

     HealthDay

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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