How to manage in cold weather

News 06 December 2022
During the winter months, cold weather can have an effect on our bodies. This can have more of an impact on people with heart conditions.
Cold temperatures can cause blood vessels and arteries to become narrower, this means the heart has to work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. For some people, this can cause chest pain and an increase in blood pressure. If you have a heart condition it is important to listen to your body and to contact your GP or out-of-hours service if you need advice. If you are unwell and concerned we advise contacting 999 in an emergency or 111 for further advice.
Here are eight tips for keeping warm in the winter from Jayne, our Cardiomyopathy Specialist Nurse:
1. Stay in the warmth

Keep your home warm and try and keep the temperature indoors close to 18°C, wrap up warm and stay cosy whenever you can.

2. Keep moving

When you are indoors, try to move around at least once an hour and avoid sitting in one place for long periods of time. When the weather isn't so chilly, consider a short walk to get some vitamin D.

3. Stick to hot food and drink

Have regular hot meals and drinks. This will provide your body with the energy it needs to keep you warm and well.

4. Wrap up warm

Wrap up warm in extra layers of clothing. Heat is easily lost from your head and neck, so make sure you wear a hat and scarf when going outside.

5. Don't overheat when outdoors

Try not to become too hot when you are outside. If you notice that you are sweating, your blood vessels can dilate, causing a drop in blood pressure. If this happens go indoors and remove your outer layers to allow your body to cool down.

6. Prepare for the weather

Besides cold temperatures, wind and rain can also affect body heat. Wind can remove the layer of warmer air from around your body, which can cause the body to lose heat quicker than usual. Damp or wet conditions can also cause your body to lose heat faster, so make sure you check the weather and dress appropriately. 

7. Seek medical advice if you become ill

If you feel like you may be developing a cough or cold seek advice early you can get advice from your pharmacist or GP.

8. Check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours

As well as protecting your own health, try to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours during cold weather to make sure they are keeping well.


Call our helpline

Call our nurses helpline on 0800 018 1024, the lines are open Monday to Friday, from 8:30am - 4:30pm. You can also email or open a live chat here on our website.

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