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While going to the gym, exercising regularly can help you stay fit and healthy, keep you away from several chronic diseases, but it does not completely make you immune to contracting a heart attack, especially during the winter season. Yes, you read that right, exercising regularly or staying fit does not guarantee you a heart disease-free life. According to the experts, various studies done over the past few years have revealed that the rate of mortality increases by almost 50% when someone succumbs to a heart attack during cold temperatures. Therefore, it is important to understand the complications of winter heart attacks and how one can manage them. To understand more about the condition, TheHealthSite.com spoke to Dr. Ripen Gupta, Director and Unit Head, Department of Cardiology, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, New Delhi, to discuss and see the various possibilities that can occur to stay on top of your fitness regime.
During winters the body is under immense pressure to regulate heat internally, which can put immense stress on the heart, when combined with an intensive workout; the body's oxygen consumption increases and can lead to breathlessness in most cases. In cold seasons, vasoconstriction tightens muscle around your arteries. When blood vessels constrict, blood flow is slowed or blocked. Vasoconstriction may be slight or severe. It may result from disease, drugs, or psychological conditions. therefore, leading to an increase in the risk of strokes, heart failure, arrhythmias, and other heart-related disorders.
In winters, there may be times when the body gets stiffer and irregular pain in the chest, neck, arms, jaw, shoulders and severe sweating might occur. Dr Ripen Gupta says, "Symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath are common signs or symptoms of heart failure during this season. During cold weathers, pollutants, and smog settle on the ground, which can eventually lead to conditions like chest infection and increase the incidence of heart attacks". This is the reason even more precaution should be taken to identify these symptoms in order to effectively tackle them in the early stages.
All the above signs can easily be confused by the tiredness and strain caused while doing intensive workouts. Hence, it is crucial to go for regular health check-ups, which can help diagnose any underlying diseases prevalent in the body.
It is also advised to seek opinions from your doctor before starting out any rigorous workout plans especially during winter months as the body might face external and internal resistance which hamper your everyday routine in the long run.
"Being fit is necessarily not enough since heart-related problems are directly linked to family history, imbalanced diet, stressful lifestyle, improper sleep cycle and the indulgence of habits like drinking and smoking can greatly impact the incidence of heart-related diseases," Dr. Ripen Gupta added.
At the end of the day, it is important to follow the above advice while working out on your winter fitness regime and stay safe to lead a healthy and peaceful life.
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