Keeping your heart healthy this winter

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 5:45 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Winter is officially here and more weather will be on its way- it can be a dangerous time of year if you exert yourself. The cold weather can decrease the oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle.

One of the biggest risks when partaking in outdoor activities is the risk of having a heart attack. Often when people have to go out and shovel, it is the first they are doing vigorous activity for the season. It is important to always dress warmly. Make sure to listen to your body and take breaks when you need to. Go inside to warm yourself up and be cautious to not shovel for long periods.

Dr. Devang Desai, Interventional Cardiologist at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical explained what happens to the heart during the colder months,

“One of the things cold weather will do is raise our blood pressure, so by raising our blood pressure it puts more strain on our hearts. The second thing cold weather does is make our hearts work harder to try to warm our bodies up, so you can imagine the combination of constriction of arteries, raising blood pressure, and making the heart work harder can be an excessive strain,” Dr. Desai said.

Dr. Desai also urges people to monitor any chest pains and if you experience any tightening or shortness of breath stop the activity immediately. It is also important to stay as active as you can during these months in order to keep your cardiovascular health in shape.

For more information to keep your heart healthy this winter, click here.

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