Protect your heart, body from excessive summer heat

Published 03.08.2017 00:00
Updated 03.08.2017 00:32
Protect your heart, body from excessive summer heat

Summer heat is not always associated with good memories and excessive heat can give hard time to people with chronic diseases and cause heart failure, but there are few key things to keep in mind to have a healthy summer

With the increasing heat, swimming season has started. Holiday plans have been checked. As increasing temperatures reach dangerous levels, the risks associated with heat exposure also rise, not only for people with chronic illnesses but also for healthy individuals. Those suffering from cardiovascular diseases are especially at risk in the summer months and spending time under the sun requires precautionary measures, as the hot weather coupled with dangerously high humidity levels could have negative effects on the cardiovascular system.Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydrationCardiac illnesses is one of the most common diseases in today's world. One out of every three people in Turkey has been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. To effectively protect yourself from this illness, you must be careful with your diet, lower your stress levels, refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol and try to lead an active life. In addition, the intense heat of the summer months brings us to another crucial issue, proper hydration and water consumption. The human body loses sodium as a result of sweating, making it very important to drink mineral water to replenish the body of minerals lost from sweating. Especially in the summer, people should consume one to two bottles of mineral water daily.

Stay out of the sun during peak hours

The human body starts to sweat excessively when heat and humidity are most intense. The cardiovascular system struggles to function properly when the body is sweating and, if a person does not consume enough liquid after sweating, blood flow slows down and the blood begins to thicken and coagulate, increasing one's risk of stroke. Sweating causes sodium and potassium levels in the body to change, resulting in muscular contractions, nerve endings and water equilibrium to change. In response to such loss, the body begins to release hormones which signal the body to retain water to replenish the mineral levels that have been lost. As a result of this process, potentially fatal health problems like irregular heartbeat, hypertension and even heart attack can result. Hence, especially cardiovascular patients and people at risk for cardiac disease due to genetic factors should consume plenty of water. These patients, who are considered "high-risk" or "moderate risk" should definitely avoid being in the sun between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun's rays are most harmful. Also, those who are at risk should consume plenty of water during the daytime hours and take a warm shower in case of excessive sweating.

Protect yourself from heat stroke during the day

Losing too much fluid may increase body temperature, resulting in heat stroke. Symptoms like sweating, cold skin, dizziness, fainting, muscle cramps, edema on the ankles, abnormal breathing patterns, nausea and vomiting are symptoms of heat stroke. Be sure to regulate your basal body temperature, as increased basal temperature can stop the proper functioning of proteins which conduct the chemical processes in the human body. The human body radiates in two ways:

Radiation: Like water flowing down a hill, heat also flows from hot places towards cooler areas. As long as the weather around you is cooler than your body temperature, the flow of radiation continues. However, when outdoor temperatures rise, the flowing stops, increasing the heartbeat and causing the body to have difficulties in pumping blood.

Evaporation: Losing fluid because of sweating results in a decrease in the volume of blood flowing throughout the body. It gets difficult for the heart to function properly while pumping the necessary 5 liters of blood through the body per minute. So, improper or erratic functioning causes the heart to exert more effort, resulting in cardiac fatigue and serious heart problems.

Keep the body cool

Try to consume plenty of water and sugar-free drinks.

Stay away from beverages that contain alcohol and caffeine. Caffeinated beverages may lead to more fluid loss.

Consume plenty of salad and fruits, which compensate for fluid loss by supplying the body with fluid.

Be sure that you are in a cool environment when spending time indoors.

Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothes.

Avoid spending time under the sun during the hottest time of the day, which is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you have to go out, use protective methods like walking in the shade, applying sun-protective creams and wearing a hat.

Avoid excessive physical activity.

Patients with coronary heart disease must be cautiousIf you are diagnosed with coronary heart disease or underwent a by-pass operation, you have to be extra cautious in hot weather. Blood flow plays an important role in these cases. When it comes to coronary disease, losing too much bodily fluids as a result of sweeating could result in blood clotting and serious health problems. Avoid going out when the sun is high and try to keep the body cool and stationary during the day. If you take medications such as blood thinners, don't forget to take your perscriptions.

Take a warm shower twice daily

Water has a soothing psychological effect on the body and plays an important role in getting rid of stress and producing energy. Taking a shower two times a day (in the morning and at night) is useful both in keeping the basal body temperature within normal range and stopping the negative effects of stress on the heart. Showering regularly accelerates the heartbeat, meaning that the heart exerts less effort when pumping blood.

Swimming for cardiovascular patients

There is no risk associated with swimming for cardivascular patients. However, they must protect themselves from the sun well and wear a hat and use an umbrella. Avoid sunbathing at peak daytime hours and drink plenty of water throughout the day when spending time at the beach.

Do you love your heart and appreciate its vital importance? If so, do you make an effort to protect it and keep it healthy? If the answer is no, then here are some tips for good heart care.

Keep your heart pace low in summer

To live a longer life, you have to keep your heart at ease and avoid stress and busy, hectic schedules. So, slow down your tempo a bit. Do not speak fast, go down the stairs quickly and - remember - walk slowly.

Avoid doing things which will increase your heart rate. And, most importantly, breathe right. Breathing right doesn't lead to heart fatigue; on the contrary, it relieves the heart. The best gift you can give yourself regarding this would be to start doing yoga.

Routine exercise for staying active

There's no doubt that walking is the easiest sport and the most effective for living a healthy life. Make this routine a part of your daily life, as it is suitable for human physiology, and say goodbye to escalators, elevators and driving. Keep this in mind: outdoor exercise is much better than indoor exercise, as it allows you to experience the great outdoors.

Healthy sleeping habits help you during summer

Studies on the relationship between sleep and coronary diseases have shown that sleeping seven-to-eight hours a day will protect you against cardiovascular diseases. For this reason, be mindful of how many hours you sleep per day.

Eat well, stay fit for healthy body

The best favor you can do for yourself is to maintain a healthy weight by being mindful of the foods you consume. Losing weight for heart health is, so to speak, a "must" that goes far beyond stereotypical advice.

Keep in mind that the form and size of the heart muscles cannot change in the beginning. Extra weight causes the human body to work harder, forcing the heart to pump blood for a wider area than it does for those of normal, healthy weights. Can you imagine how difficult and exhausting it is for the heart to work when you are overweight?

Laugh! Watch comedy once a week

Laughing is actually the easiest exercise. Also, studies show that you can burn up to 50 calories just by laughing for 10-to-15 minutes.

Similar studies conducted on the benefits of laughing show that the level of stress hormones in the body decreases while laughing, increasing the levels of low HDL cholesterol.

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