ALBANY — The American Heart Association has tips to protect the heart in the heat, according to a news release.
With temperatures forecasted in the 90s, it’s important to know that extreme heat can be hard on the heart.
As the temperature rises, so can the risk for suffering health issues like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Doctors recommend using good judgment when it comes to activities outside in the heat, and that you stay hydrated.
During hot weather, it’s important to take the following right precautions.
∫ Watch the clock: It’s best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (about noon to 3 p.m.) because the sun is usually at its strongest, putting those outside at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.
∫ Get off on the right foot: People probably sweat the most in their 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 newer fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses. Before getting started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours.
∫ Drink up: Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after 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
∫ Follow the doctor’s orders: Anyone who is a heart patient, over the age of 50, overweight or just starting an exercise program, be sure to check with the doctor for the best exercise routine.
For those who want to be active during hot weather, doctors say it is alright if the activity is something they are used to, but it is not the time to push themselves.
It’s important to know the signs and symptoms when anyone may be experiencing too much heat.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion are as follows: Headaches, heavy sweating, cold; moist skin; chills, dizziness or fainting (syncope); a weak and rapid pulse; muscle cramps; fast, shallow breathing; nausea, vomiting or both.
Anyone who experiences these symptoms, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and cool down immediately by dousing yourself with cold water and rehydrating. One may need to seek medical attention.
The symptoms of heat stroke are as follows: Warm, dry skin with no sweating; strong and rapid pulse; confusion and/or unconsciousness; high fever; throbbing headaches; nausea, vomiting or both.
Anyone who experiences these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
For more information, tips and advice on how to take care of your heart, visit www.heart.org.