It seems that winter may finally be over… hopefully.
With one of the coldest, and snowiest winters in a long time it seemed like a good idea to focus on ways to stay “heart healthy” during this time of year. After all, if local forecasts are right we’re not out of the woods, or snow, just yet.
So here are some ways to keep warm until the spring thaw finally comes…
Winter heart healthy tips
The first one may seem fairly obvious… and that’s to bundle up!
Now, you may think this is obvious, but every day when I drop my son off at school I see a LOT of kids walking in the front door wearing shorts. Seriously. You can’t make this up. And not only are they in shorts but they’re not wearing too much up top either, like a heavy winter jacket. Sometimes it’s just a hoodie.
I don’t care how “cool” you may think it is to be under-dressed in winter… stay warm!
The risk of hypothermia is a real one, regardless of how old you are or how healthy you may feel.
Clearly older people and young children have an increased risk, along with those not in good physical shape. So bundle up and stay warm for heaven’s sake.
To be on the safe side, here are some symptoms of hypothermia:
- lack of coordination
- mental confusion
- slowed reactions
- shivering and sleepiness
And according to Dr. Jack Hauser, a Cardiologist in New Haven, CT with HeartCare Associates…
“as people age, their ability to maintain a normal internal body temperature often decreases. Because elderly people seem to be relatively insensitive to moderately cold conditions, they can suffer hypothermia without knowing they’re in danger.”
What’s more, some studies suggest that harsh winter weather may increase a person’s risk of heart attack due to overexertion.
And that means no shoveling, especially when we get the really wet, heavy snow.
If you don’t have a snowblower ask someone to plow you out. You’re never too young to ask for help, either. Though I’m in fairly good shape I still had someone come to plow out my driveway during one or two of the past winter storms.
In fact, my father-in-law suffered his first stroke while shoveling snow. And most likely he was under-dressed for the conditions as well.
To stay warm it’s important to wear layers of clothing.
Well, because one of the best insulators is air. So when you wear many layers air remains trapped between all those layers, which helps your body stay warm. And your mom was right, after all. Wearing a hat helps to keep your warm because a LOT of heat will escape from an uncovered noggin.
Wear gloves and keep your feet warm as well, since your extremities often lose heat very rapidly (this goes for uncovered ears as well).
Even though it seems that the groundhog saw his shadow (or didn’t see it, I can never remember which one means an end to winter), spring will be here soon enough. So there’s no shame in admitting that it’s pretty darn cold out there and bundling up to stay warm.
Stay positive about life and dress appropriately!