How you really can ‘catch your death of cold’

Important to keep warm during cold spells.
Important to keep warm during cold spells.

There’s wisdom behind the old wives’ saying “you’ll catch your death of cold”.

Charity Heart Research UK is warning that you need to keep warm to protect your heart.

Winter claims around 10,000 lives through heart disease in the UK, with the elderly at increased risk.

When the temperature falls blood vessels constrict to preserve heat loss through hands and feet, increasing blood pressure. With the blood’s volume squeezed into a tighter passage of blood vessels, elements in the blood that cause clotting become more concentrated, increasing the risk of thrombosis (blood clots) which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. On top of this, the heart must work harder to keep the body warm, causing your heart rate to increase.

Its top tips to protect your heart this winter are: Keep cosy - invest in an indoor thermometer to ensure main rooms are between 18 and 21 degrees C and use draft excluders, curtains and rugs; wrap-up warm indoors and out; stay active; drink enough fluids, which includes tea and soup; get a flu jab if you are over 65 or have a chronic disease.