Our hearts are arguably the most important organs in our bodies. If everything in our body shut down, except for our heart, then medical professionals would still claim we were “alive”, even if that’s up for debate among individuals. However, even though our hearts should be the most well kept and healthy organ, heart disease accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths. It’s the most common cause of death for both men and women in America, so how does this happen?
Over 1.5 million heart attacks occur every year and ends up accounting for over 500,000 deaths, so heart attacks seem to be at the root of a majority of heart disease health concerns. We wanted to give you some facts about heart attacks and some tips on how to prevent them so you don’t become a part of the alarming statistic.
When are heart attacks most likely to happen?
Turns out that we’re actually moving into the prime heart-attack-season: winter. Heart attacks are most likely to occur in the winter and least likely to occur in the summer because of temperature and stress. When the temperature drops, there is an increase of stress on the walls of vascular tissue, which reduces blood flow to the arteries and heart. Winter is also a time for high stress, depression, and decreased physical activity-- all of which contribute to a higher risk of heart problems.
We all know Monday is the worst day of the week, and it looks like our bodies know it too. Researchers have found that heart attacks are most likely to happen on Mondays, although there is no strong evidence as to why. Some researchers have suggested that this is a result of work-related stressors. It’s possible that increased stress from the work to be done in the week ahead releases hormones that make heart plaques unstable and more likely to clot, causing a heart attack.
Even if you think you’re a morning person, it’s universal that our hearts are not the morning’s biggest fans. It’s been reported that the majority of heart attacks occur between 6am-10am. At that time, our blood platelets are stickier and are more likely to clot. Additionally, increased adrenaline or stress about the day ahead can trigger a rupture of plaques in the coronary arteries.
What can you do?
In order to avoid a heart attack, we recommend that you stay bundled in the upcoming season, learn to manage your stress levels, and find ways to wake up slowly. For example, here are 6 yoga stretches to help you wake up! And of course, if you need any imaging for heart concerns, please talk to your doctor and feel free to reach out to Clovis Open MRI.