The summer’s heat, while a welcome reprieve from a long winter, comes with its own set of challenges, especially if you have heart disease. The rise in temperatures causes the heart to beat faster and work harder to assist in cooling your body through sweating. When the body can’t cool itself enough, strain is put on the heart – a condition known as heat stroke. While anyone can suffer heat stroke, people with heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases are at greater risk.
Take these steps to stay safe in the sun:
- Dress in light-colored, lightweight clothing. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen whenever you’ll be outside.
- Avoid vigorous physical activity. Consider moving your exercise program to a pool or indoors.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration.
- Keep indoors cool. Use air conditioning if you have it. If not, use fans and keep rooms dark. Consider visiting an air-conditioned location, like the mall, movie theater or library, on especially hot days. If you’re not able to leave your home, your town may provide transportation services or ask a friend or family member for help.