Protecting your heart from summer heat
Although some outdoor workers are required to perform their labors during certain hours, if you’re off duty, the American Heart Association (AHA) advises you to avoid being out of doors in the early afternoon (from noon to 3 p.m.) because that’s when the sun is usually at its strongest, putting you at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.
That’s one of the AHA’s recommendations for having a heart healthy summer. Here are others:
- Get off on the right foot. You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.
- Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a synthetic fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses.
- Drink up. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
- Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.
Summer brings an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to grocery stores, farmers’ markets and local gardens. That means more opportunities to add tasty and heart-healthy foods to your everyday meals. Learn more.
Keep these tips in mind when making delicious grilled meals that are also heart healthy.