As we head into this holiday weekend which is the official start of the summer,  it’s important to keep your heart safe while exercising or participating in any type of outdoor activity. Heat-related deaths and illness are quite preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. While the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk; even young and healthy individuals can give in to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.

Heat-related illnesses occur when our bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under certain conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may even damage the brain or other vital organs.

Now, we still want to keep our hearts healthy. So if you think you are ready to brave the heat, call a buddy and get moving. Remember if at all possible try to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (noon to 3pm).  Usually the sun is at it’s strongest, exerting yourself during these hours may put you at higher risks. Exercising outdoors is great, but always be safe.

Here are a few tips:

  • Dress for the heat.
  • Drink plenty.
  • Take regular breaks.

Heat exhaustion symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Heavy Sweating
  • Cold, moist skin, chills
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weak and fast pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

If these symptoms occur, immediately move to a cooler place, stop exercising to cool down and rehydrate. Education and preparation is key to being healthy and safe in any season but especially during the summer season.

Here’s to being Heart Healthy Even In Heat!!!