As the mercury rises, the heart needs to pump harder to keep the body cool. This is particularly true if you live in areas with harsh summers. While this change is tolerated well by most individuals, those with heart ailments face the risk of developing arrhythmia, heat stroke, dehydration and heart attack. Therefore, if you are a heart patient, you need to be cautious about your health when the summer heat sets in.
Follow these tips to keep your heart healthy this summer:
Stay Hydrated – If you are not careful enough to drink water regularly, high summer temperatures can cause dehydration easily. Dehydration is known to trigger conditions such as stroke and atrial fibrillation. At times, you may fail to recognize that you are dehydrated. Hence, you need to consume water at regular intervals even if you don’t feel thirsty. Besides water, include fluids in your diet such as fresh fruit and vegetable juices, soups and coconut water.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol – Consumption of caffeinated drinks and alcohol can accelerate dehydration, which in turn may increase your risk of developing heart complications. This is particularly important for people who have undergone angioplasty and have stents in their heart. Dehydration can cause thickening of the blood, which blocks the stent and triggers an attack.
Avoid Stress – Stress has been directly linked to heart health by various scientific studies. Practice activities like meditation and yoga to manage your stress. Taking up a cardiac care insurance is also recommended. A cardiac or heart care insurance not only helps you prepare for the worst but will also help you avoid unnecessary stress.
Limit Outdoor Activities – Continued exposure to the summer heat may strain your heart. Avoid exercising or walking outdoors when it is sunny. Early mornings and evenings are the best time to venture outside. Also, make sure to wear light coloured clothes in breathable fabrics like cotton.
Get Enough Sleep – Getting adequate sleep is a very important part of keeping your heart healthy. Getting disturbed or less sleep affects your blood pressure, which can have detrimental effects on your heart. So ensure that you get at least six hours of undisturbed sleep.
Consult Your Doctor If You Have Any Problems – Given the increased demand for oxygen during the summer, there might be increased pressure on your heart. If you are suffering from conditions such as congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation etc. you may need medical attention even if you develop the slightest symptoms of a heat stroke.