Summer is in full swing – that means high temperatures that not only encourage people to head outdoors for barbeques and getting active, but that heat can also be harmful to your heart health. This summer, the American Heart Association wants to encourage you to protect your heart by following these simple steps:
Staying hydrated helps your heart pump blood more easily through the vessels to the muscles. Being well hydrated means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Always drink water before you go out in the sun so your heart isn’t straining itself to catch up. Becoming dehydrated is a dangerous thing and can lead to swollen feet, headache, and even heat exhaustion or stroke. Drinking water after a workout is extremely important too, and there are many different ways to re-hydrate your body. Water can be found in a variety of places such as foods like fruits and vegetables. Sports drinks can also be beneficial for those doing vigorous exercise since they contain electrolytes, however they are usually high in sugars and calories.
Not sweating during vigorous physical activity can be a bad sign that you’re dehydrated and in danger of developing heat exhaustion.
Exercise Smarter, Not Harder
Exercising in the summer heat can be dangerous. Consider these tips on how to stay safe and healthy this season:
Be Aware of Heat Exhaustion and Stroke
Two of the greatest risks of spending too much time outdoors during the summer are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is brought on by severe dehydration and is characterized by headache, dizziness or lightheadedness, weakness, cool or moist skin, dark urine, nausea, and vomiting.
Heat stroke happens when the body is no longer to regulate its temperature, and it keeps rising. If you experience any of these symptoms, cool yourself off with water or shade and call 9-1-1 if they don’t go away: high fever (above 104 degrees F), hot, dry, or red skin, fast or weak pulse, fast or shallow breathing, irrational behavior or extreme confusion, seizure, or unconsciousness.
Man's Best Friend!
Leave your pets at home if possible when you need to go out and about. Provide different temperature zones within your house for your pet’s comfort. Never leave a pet in the car, even in the shade or with windows cracked. Cars can overheat quickly to deadly temperatures, even when the weather isn’t severe.
Tips to Keep Them Comfortable