Monday, 19 September 2016

Cold Induced Hypertension

For those new to cold exposure training in general, I would STRONGLY recommend that you buy (and use) a sphygmomanometer to check your blood pressure several times a day in the morning and evening.  This needs to be done BEFORE embarking on cold exposure training as a baseline, and during cold exposure phase itself.

The reason I'm so cautious about all this is because cold exposure hypertension is a 'thing'.  I myself developed this condition from regular cold showers. There were no warning signs, no discomfort, nothing.  I used to really enjoy the cold showers and often looked forward each morning to them - but the chronic exposure came with a hypertensive side effect.

The link between cold exposure and hypertension is well established:

  • People who live and work in cold areas have a higher incidence of hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases and mortality compared to those living in warmer areas, and cold exposure is a risk factor for hypertension. Cold winter weather is associated with more severe hypertension, stroke and myocardial infarction in hypertensive patients. Seasonal variation of blood pressure (BP), with the highest values during the cold season, has been well documented. Both local and whole-body cold exposure increase BP. In the northern part of the world, people are exposed to low outdoor temperatures while going to work and occasionally also during leisure time. Moreover, there are still many occupations involving part- or full-time outdoor work.

Proceed with caution.

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