How to Keep Your Heart Healthier This Summer
Here are some easy ways to keep your heart going strong all summer long.
Summer is a time to relax, be more physically active and enjoy the great outdoors. This is good for your mood, especially as you start venturing out in the wake of recent stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's also good for your heart and your overall health – as long as you take a few precautions as temps start to rise if you have heart disease.
Here are 5 ways to help keep your heart healthier this summer:
- 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. Never before has it been more important to find ways to de-stress since so many people are experiencing more stress than usual as a result of the pandemic.
- Modify 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.
- Stay well 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.
- Eat seasonal 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 fresh produce is a delicious way to treat your heart well.
- Pay attention to your body. 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. If you feel dizzy, weak or disoriented or 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: April 15, 2020
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD