The bright sunny days of summer are the perfect time to get a tan, dress up in clothes of all hue and have amazing beach parties. While we are busy making the most of the season, it’s advisable to not put our health on the backburner especially a very important organ that needs some special care; the heart.
In a survey conducted by the American Heart Association, the main cause of death in the USA is heart disease which is caused by the unhealthy lifestyle that a majority of American population follow. This can be altered by a few easy and simple steps that ensure that you can enjoy an amazing summer and keep your heart healthy as well.
#1. Stay Hydrated
The most important in the list of summer tips for a healthy heart is staying hydrated. We can’t stress enough on how important it is to stay hydrated during summers as a lot of people end up falling sick and become dehydrated because of inadequate consumption of fluids. This summer reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol and instead take in a lot of water and juices. Water helps in flushing out toxins from your system and reduces the risk of a heart attack by 50%. Probably the most practical and easiest of healthy heart tips to follow would just be keeping a bottle of water with you all the time and drink at least 2 liters of water per day.
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#2. Avoid exercising in the heat
Another expert advice to keep your heart healthy is scheduling your workout session either during early morning or evening time when the harsh sun rays can’t harm you. Working out is good for the body but that does not mean you will exercise out in the heat.The intensity of the workout coupled with the heat can only lead to disastrous consequences. Working out early in the morning means avoiding harmful sun rays and taking in a lot of fresh oxygen which would help in regulating blood pressure and keeping the heart healthy and fit.
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#3. Don’t overlook the signs
Another heart-healthy tip for summer is to never overlook any signs signifying that your body needs medical attention. Often we don't pay attention to symptoms that start to manifest before a disease and then it turns to a full-fledged health problem. Quick action can help you contain the full effect of a sun stroke and also help you realize that you are not paying enough attention to your heart. Even simple issues like getting breathless easily denote that there is a bigger problem with your health that needs to be tackled immediately. Sun strokes can be dangerous but you if you stay vigilant to the signs of a sun stroke, its effect will lessen drastically, in case you suddenly feel a throbbing headache, nausea, high fever or a rapid pulse then get immediate medical attention.
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#4. Avoid outdoors
Another summer tip for a healthy heart is to avoid outdoors, now we don't mean avoid altogether but just refrain from spending way too much time outside. The harmful sun rays can be bad for your body if you spend a great deal of time outside; prefer to restrict your outdoor activities to early morning and evening instead of the afternoons when the sun is blazing hot.
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#5. Dress accordingly
Keep it cool in the summer, dress in light fabrics and stick to minimal clothing. Dressing in fabrics such as cotton helps us in soaking all the excess sweat that the body produces all through the day, this is a healthy way to allow your skin to breathe. avoid wearing too much of black and go for lighter shades that not only look good but are also less heat-absorbent. Such breathable fabric makes you feel light and relaxed which is good for your heart.
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#5. Quit smoking
It would be good to not just consider this a summer tip for a healthy heart but an all-season tip for a healthy, well functioning heart. 'Smoking is dangerous and has fatal consequences' is a line that you may have got sick of hearing but the truth behind it remains the same.
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#6. Avoid oily food
Summer heat and fatty food just don't mix well. As much as you love your cheese-filled burgers and pizzas with extra toppings, this season is not the time to gorge on such fatty food. Such food will make you sweat more and have a bad impact on your digestive system; this, in turn, would make the job of your heart muscle difficult. So, ditch the fat and instead go for lighter meals that will not make you feel bloated and sluggish.
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#7. Sleep Well
Summer might be the best time to party into the wee hours of the morning but overdoing it is certainly not good for the heart and the body. Adequate sleep is essential for a body and depriving it of a good night's sleep is going to lead to a groggy mind and a drained system that would not function well in the long run. Your heart has an important purpose and you are not making its job easier by cutting down on your sleep.
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#8. Carry an Umbrella
Excess heat can make you hyperventilate and its best to avoid spending too much time outdoors as we have already mentioned before, but just in case you need to go out in the heat then take proper precautions and use an umbrella, scarf, and sunglasses. These simple techniques can actually help you take care of your health during summers.
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#9. Gorge on Blueberries
When your heart is overworked, your body pays the price for it. You feel lethargic and easily drained, unable to focus on anything and in order to counter that you should try munching on some blueberries. They are a great anti-oxidant and drive away all your fatigue.
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#10. Substitute fish with red meat
It is advisable to cut back on red meat, during summers, that is rich in fat as it increases body cholesterol. Red meat is extremely hard to digest and this, in turn, has negative consequences on your heart. Instead of red meat, go for a fish-based diet. If you love non-vegetarian food, seafood such as salmon and trout help in maintaining a healthy heart.
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#11. Apply Sunscreen
It is important to apply water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF-15 on your face and visible body parts in order to prevent your skin from absorbing harmful sun rays.
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#12. Go for healthier snacks
We understand that it's hard to overlook food pangs but at the same time, it's crucial that you avoid junk food during summers. Instead of the unhealthy snacks that are bad for your heart and can clog arteries try refreshing fruit pops and crunchy vegetables such as baby carrots and cucumber slices that can be put in the freezer to make them cool and crunchy.
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#13. Cut down on the salt
We know that this one is easier said than done but to maintain a healthy blood pressure it is important that you cut down on your salt intake. You don't have to stop taking it altogether but instead steadily reduce the intake of salt.
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#14. Eat more fiber
This should again not just be a summer tip for a healthy heart but a dietary change for every season. You can drastically lower your chances of a heart disease simply by incorporating more fiber rich food.
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#15 Tackle stress the fun way
Stress is a major cause of heart attacks and fluctuating blood pressure these days. Summer is a fun time where you have loads of activities through which you can tackle stress and have a good time. Your body and heart will stay healthy only if you stay bright and positive and not clouded by stress.
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I guess avoiding oily food is really difficult and that could be a major risk factor for me.