Healthy Heart Tip: Warm your heart against the cold snap - Heart Research UK
< Back to News

Healthy Heart Tip: Warm your heart against the cold snap

17 December, 2018

When temperatures fall blood vessels narrow to reduce heat loss. With the volume of blood now squeezed into tighter blood vessels, blood pressure increases, the heart has to work harder and there is an increased risk of blood clots.


Cold weather increases risk of heart attack, accounting for two in five excess winter deaths, particularly amongst the elderly. Some parts of the UK have already had snow and with more cold spells expected, it’s time to wrap up warm for the sake of your heart.
Follow our Healthy Heart Tips on how to protect your heart this winter as temperatures drop:

  • Ward off the flu
    Older adults are at greater risk of flu which is not only debilitating but could also increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you’re over 65 or suffer from a chronic disease like heart disease it’s not too late to get your flu jab to help protect you. Pop a note on your 2019 calendar around the end of October, as the virus is constantly changing.


  • Stay active
    It’s important to move your body every hour or so to get your blood flowing and keep your temperature up. If you’re watching telly, advert breaks make the perfect prompt to get up off the sofa for a walk and a stretch. If walking is a problem try some chair based exercises.


  • Heart-warming hydration
    As we age, many of us lose our sense of thirst and don’t drink the recommended eight daily glasses needed for health. A cup of tea is a great way to warm the cockles of your heart as well as maintain good hydration levels. Foods also contain fluids so it’s important to eat regular meals. Soups make a simple lunch solution to keeping you hydrated and warm.


  • Be a guardian angel
    Look out for loved ones and older neighbours this winter to ensure they’re not left in the cold. Visit older relatives at home and take note of whether they are feeling the freeze and what else might help them feel comfortable and warm.

Help those who are at risk to wrap up, keep moving, stay protected and eat well this winter. Christmas is a time for giving and the gift of warmth could make all the difference.