The Heart and cold weather
Just a couple of tips for you when the winter months are just around the corner.
The Winter seasons will bring cooler temperatures, and for some, ice and snow. It’s important to know how cold weather can affect your heart, especially if you have cardiovascular disease. People who are outdoors in cold weather should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snow drifts can strain a person’s heart.
How does cold weather affect the heart?
Many people aren’t conditioned to the physical stress of outdoor activities and don’t know the dangers of being outdoors in cold weather. Winter sports enthusiasts who don’t take certain precautions can suffer accidental hypothermia.
Hypothermia means the body temperature has fallen below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It occurs when your body can’t produce enough energy to keep the internal body temperature warm enough. It can kill you. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. Symptoms include lack of coordination, mental confusion, slowed reactions, shivering and sleepiness.
Children, the elderly and those with heart disease are at special risk. 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.
People with coronary heart disease often suffer angina pectoris (chest pain or discomfort) when they’re in cold weather. Some studies suggest that harsh winter weather may increase a person’s risk of heart attack due to overexertion.
Besides cold temperatures, high winds, snow and rain also can steal body heat. Wind is especially dangerous, because it removes the layer of heated air from around your body. At 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a 30-mile wind, the cooling effect is equal to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, dampness causes the body to lose heat faster than it would at the same temperature in drier conditions.
To keep warm, wear layers of clothing. This traps air between layers, forming a protective insulation. Also, wear a hat or head scarf. Heat can be lost through your head. And ears are especially prone to frostbite. Keep your hands and feet warm, too, as they tend to lose heat rapidly.
Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before going outdoors or when outside. Alcohol gives an initial feeling of warmth, because blood vessels in the skin expand. Heat is then drawn away from the body’s vital organs.
British Heart Foundation and the Angina Monologues
Called the Angina Monologues, the show will include performances from Victoria and other star-studded guests as part of an innovative campaign created for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) by Grey London and Drum PHD in collaboration with Phil McIntyre Entertainments.
Tickets for the Angina Monologues go on sale today (Tuesday, November 9) with print and on-line adverts launching at the end of November.
The campaign aims to challenge the stereotype that only men get heart disease and highlight the fact heart disease kills three times more women than breast cancer.
The live event on December 5 will also be filmed for national television broadcast, due to air later in the same month. Further audiences will be reached through live screenings held in over thirty VUE cinemas nationwide and the content will be distributed through various online platforms.
Nick Radmore, Head of Social Marketing and Brand at the BHF said, “They say that laughter is the best medicine and the Angina Monologues will get women together for a night of fantastic comedy and thinking about a very serious issue at the same time. “The reality is that over a million women are living with heart disease in the UK. This show is the perfect way to get across vital messages that could ultimately save lives.”
Simon Wells, Executive Producer of Drum PHD added, “This is a great example of using all channels to take a piece of content from one event, to a huge audience through TV, cinema, theatre as well as driving this very important message through PR, marketing and digital content distribution.
“By teaming up with various partners, we are bringing this event to a wide audience of women and making them more aware of the risk of heart disease.”
A recent survey showed less than a third of women (31%) are aware that heart disease is the biggest killer of women in the UK with nearly two thirds (62%) believing that breast cancer is the biggest threat to their health.
The Angina Monologues will take place on Sunday 5 December at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket. Tickets go on sale today (Tuesday 9 November), details can be found at www.anginamonologues.co.uk.