As the excitement of the holidays fade and the novelty of winter weather wears off it’s easy to slip into the winter blues. Overindulgence and social gatherings soon become distant memories save for the extra pounds, while the reality of short days and the stresses of the “daily grind” return.
According to a recent report In Life Extension Magazine, there is a definite link between heart disease and depression. As well, a 2004 study published in Circulation showed that there is an increase of five percent more heart-related deaths during the winter months.
Depression affects both men and women; however, more women than men are likely to be diagnosed.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women. Being aware of the disease and the warning signs of a heart attack may be your ticket to saving your own life or the life of someone you love. Women will often chalk up their symptoms to acid reflux or the flu. Shortness of breath despite little exertion; chest pain that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back; pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach; or nausea and vomiting are all symptoms of an impending heart attack.
Often the things we benefit from most fall by the way side in the midst of depression or the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Regular exercise and dressing properly for outdoor weather may become an afterthought while the over consumption of alcohol and holiday food are on the forefront. Combined with cold weather and feelings of winter lethargy the perfect heart attack-inducing storm is created.
Take care of yourself. Make good dietary choices, pile on the layers when going outdoors, listen to your body especially in stressful situations or times where over exertion may occur (snow shoveling for example), take measures to manage your stress, and don’t put off asking for help when experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms.
Heart disease and heart attacks don’t have to be fatal. Being aware of the symptoms and what you should do when faced with them is your key to survival.
For more information read the book,A Woman’s Heart Attack: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You: What Every Women Needs to Know to Prevent, Recover, and Heal from a Heart Attack. Although, this book was written with the female heart in mind, there are many aspects that are equally important for men recovering and healing from a heart attack or heart failure.
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