Do you know how the heat of the summer can affect your body? Most people understand that drinking more water and wearing sunscreen are necessary summer habits to pick up, but what else can you do for your health and your heart?As the body works, the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood through the body to your muscles. Sweat rises to the surface to cool your skin. In turn, your heart must pump harder due to the loss of fluid. That’s why drinking water is key. But any number of other things can also make it more difficult for your heart to provide to your body.
Take these five tips into consideration to improve your summertime heart health and safety:
- Be Aware of Smog and Humidity - Smog and humidity levels rise in certain cities as the temperature rises. As the air becomes thicker and less oxygen-dense, your lungs must work harder to pass the oxygen into the blood for your heart to pump. Instead of fighting it, consider driving away from the city to go for a hike, bike ride, or swim.
- Check with your Doctor - If you’ve had a history of heart illness, chronic disease, or are over the age of 50 and/or overweight, it’s beneficial to speak with your doctor before starting a new diet or exercise program, especially during the summer months. While there are certain medications that can increase the danger to your heart, there may be health supplements that can help your body handle the added intensity as well.
- Drink Even When Not Thirsty - Many people, especially those over 50, don’t always recognize thirst. Your senses might just be playing tricks on you. No matter how much physical activity you participate in, you should aim to drink eight glasses of water each day. The number increases beyond that for those with outdoor occupations, sports, etc.
- Buddy Up - People with previous heart conditions should utilize the buddy system when working out during the summer. No matter if you’re going to jog around the park or hike in the mountains, it’s important to have someone there in case of emergency. Not to mention that a buddy will remind you when to drink and take breaks!
- Start on the Right Foot - Literally. Your feet sweat a lot, but are mostly covered up. This prevents them from adequately cooling. It can stress and strain your foot and leg muscles. Wear light socks that repel perspiration and invest in ventilated shoes. You might also try foot powders or cooling creams.
Next time you want to venture out into the beautiful summer sun and get some exercise, remember these five tips. If you’re feeling dizzy, weak, light-headed, nauseated, or experiencing dark urine, stop exercising and move to a cool, shady place until the symptoms disappear. Your heart health is important!
If you’re trying to lose weight this summer, consider Super CitriMax®, which has been found to be three times more effective than diet and exercise alone. It’s a well-established brand that you can trust. Questions? Contact InterHealth!