Winter is here; protect your heart
Fri, Jan 4, 2019
Winter is here to stay. It’s a time when extra time spent outside in cold weather can affect your health. While we need to be cautious about the flu, frostbite and hypothermia, your heart health is also at risk.
“Winter activities like shoveling snow can put extra strain on your heart, especially for people who aren’t active year-round,” says Dr. Armaan Carrigan Shaikh, an Aurora BayCare cardiologist. “If it’s not something your body is used to, start slow so your heart has time to adjust to your change in activity and make sure to call your physician if you have any cardiovascular symptoms with activity, like shortness of breath or chest pain.”
Shaikh suggests people who have had a heart attack; have heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol; are a smoker, or don’t exercise, should talk with their doctor before heading out in the snow because they’re at an increased risk for a heart attack or stroke.
To help protect your heart this winter:
- Avoiding drinking alcohol or smoking before, during or after shoveling.
- Dress in layers. Keep your head and mouth covered.
- Eat heart-healthy foods, like salmon, berries, carrots and nuts.
- Exercise regularly.
- Check your blood pressure regularly. If it’s high, it should be treated promptly.
- Reduce your salt intake.
- Get your flu shot.
“Use these tips year-round to keep your heart healthy,” Shaikh says. “It’ll help keep you in the best possible shape when winter hits.”
About BayCare Clinic
BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.
About Aurora BayCare Medical Center
Aurora BayCare Medical Center is a 167-bed, full-service tertiary care hospital located at 2845 Greenbrier Road on Green Bay’s east side. It opened in September 2001 as a joint venture of Aurora Health Care and BayCare Clinic. Aurora BayCare is committed to creating a better way to provide high quality tertiary healthcare, the latest in medical technology and superior service.