Today is Movement for Movement Monday at Aortic Hope.
🥶Exercising in cold weather can be beneficial for your health, but it also poses some risks, especially if you have aortic disease. Aortic disease is a condition that affects the aorta, the main blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Aortic disease can cause the aorta to weaken, bulge or tear, which can lead to life-threatening complications.
❤️According to the American Heart Association, people with coronary heart disease often suffer angina pectoris (chest pain or discomfort) when they're in cold weather. Cold temperatures, high winds, snow and rain can also steal body heat and increase the risk of hypothermia. Hypothermia means the body temperature has fallen below 35 degrees Celsius or about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It can cause lack of coordination, mental confusion, slowed reactions, shivering and sleepiness. It can also kill you.
🩺If you have aortic disease and want to exercise in cold weather, you should consult your doctor first and follow some safety tips. Here are some suggestions:
- Dress in layers of clothing that keep you warm and dry. Avoid cotton as it can trap moisture and make you feel colder. Wear a hat, gloves and warm socks to protect your extremities.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after your workout. Dehydration can impair your body's ability to regulate its temperature.
- Choose low-impact activities that don't put too much strain on your heart and blood vessels. For example, brisk walking, hiking, raking leaves or shoveling snow (with frequent breaks) may be suitable options. Avoid sudden exertion or activities that involve holding your breath or lifting heavy objects.
- Warm up properly before starting your exercise and cool down gradually afterwards. This can help prevent injuries and reduce the stress on your heart.
- Monitor your symptoms and listen to your body. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea or any other signs of distress, stop exercising and seek medical attention immediately .
❤️Exercising in cold weather with aortic disease can be challenging, but not impossible. With proper planning and precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of physical activity while minimizing the risk.