How to Prevent a Heart Attack in the Winter

February is Heart Health Month

As we celebrate Heart Health Month in February, it’s important to know how winter can affect our heart health. Studies, like the one shared by the American Heart Association, tell us that the risk of heart attacks increases during the colder months. At Henry J Austin Health Center (HJAHC), we want to give you the knowledge to keep your heart healthy. 

The cold weather of winter can put extra strain on our hearts. It’s also crucial to understand the difference between cardiac arrest and a heart attack. Cardiac arrest happens when the heart suddenly stops beating, while a heart attack occurs when a blood vessel is blocked, preventing oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart muscle. Knowing these differences helps you respond quickly.  

Engaging in activities like shoveling snow during winter can potentially increase the risk of a heart attack.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), physical activity, particularly in cold weather, can elevate the risk of cardiovascular events. Some signs to watch out for include:

  • Pain or discomfort in your chest
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Jaw, neck, or back pain
  • Discomfort or pain in your arm or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath.

Paying attention to these signals can help you take quick action and seek the right medical attention if needed. If you recognize the symptoms and seek medical help right away, it could help save your life or the life of someone you love.  

One thing to also look out for is high blood pressure, which can seriously affect your heart. To keep your heart healthy, try to eat good meals, do some exercise, find ways to handle stress, and stay away from tobacco. These steps might seem small, but they can really help make your heart strong. Our healthcare team is also here to help you check your blood pressure regularly. 

This Heart Health Month, make your cardiovascular well-being a priority by staying informed, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and scheduling regular check-ups. HJAHC is here to support you in keeping your heart healthy. To schedule an appointment or to be screened, visit or call 609-278-5900. 




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