6 Tips for a Heart Healthy Summer
Follow these seasonal tips to protect your ticker.
Summer is a time to relax, unwind and enjoy the great outdoors. Warmer weather and summer events are more conducive to being physically active and more social. This is not only good for your mood, but it's good for your heart – as long as you take a few precautions.
Here are 6 ways to help keep your heart in tip-top shape this summer:
- Embrace fresh produce. Summer is the perfect time to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. They not only taste great but they're filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as heart healthy fiber. Eating more fresh produce is a delicious way to treat your heart well.
- Stay hydrated. When it's hot outside, you're more prone to dehydration. Get in the habit of drinking more and stick to low-sugar and low-calorie options like water. Limit caffeine and alcohol, which can increase dehydration.
- Change your workout. When you combine physical activity with heat and humidity, it puts an added strain on your heart. Consider moving your workout indoors on days when it's very hot or humid or air quality is low. Or work out early in the morning or in the evening when it's cooler.
- Take it easy. People with heart disease do not adapt to summer weather as well as healthier people. Although you don't need to stay indoors and give up summer fun, you may need to take things a bit slower.
- Relax. Many people equate summer with a time to kick back, relax and have fun. That philosophy is as good for your heart as it is for your soul. Finding ways to reduce stress can go a long way towards keeping your heart healthier.
- Pay attention to your body. If you feel dizzy, weak or disoriented or if you have symptoms like a headache, nausea, vomiting or muscle cramps, get out of the heat and cool down. These may be signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be a serious medical emergency.
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Date Last Reviewed: May 17, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD