Saturday 25 Oct 2014

Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

Keep Heart Safe In The Heat!

Published: 12:25 pm CDT, May 25, 2012

As we head into this holiday weekend which is the official start of the summer,  it’s important to keep your heart safe while exercising or participating in any type of outdoor activity. Heat-related deaths and illness are quite preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. While the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk; even young and healthy individuals can give in to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.

Heat-related illnesses occur when our bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under certain conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may even damage the brain or other vital organs.

Now, we still want to keep our hearts healthy. So if you think you are ready to brave the heat, call a buddy and get moving. Remember if at all possible try to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (noon to 3pm).  Usually the sun is at it’s strongest, exerting yourself during these hours may put you at higher risks. Exercising outdoors is great, but always be safe.

Here are a few tips:

  • Dress for the heat.
  • Drink plenty.
  • Take regular breaks.

Heat exhaustion symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Heavy Sweating
  • Cold, moist skin, chills
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weak and fast pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

If these symptoms occur, immediately move to a cooler place, stop exercising to cool down and rehydrate. Education and preparation is key to being healthy and safe in any season but especially during the summer season.

Here’s to being Heart Healthy Even In Heat!!!

  • Lykarose

    I to think walknig is good for you, I know I like to get out walknig but I do not walk any marathons or as a matter of fact I have no idea how fast or how far I walk I just enjoy it .We went to the farm for Easter and of course there is a lot of walknig to do therechecking out the new calfs and just walknig the grounds etc. however the weather was just great, in the winter I just walk from the car which is in itself is a ways from their parking as they get so much snow out there and I do not like to walk in the deep snow,I have a question you might know, I understand the wheel chair parking but do not understand the special parking for expectant mothers are they not suppose to get some excersize I know in my day they did..however my youngest is now 46yrs old so I know things have change a lot over the years.

    • Mario

      I’ll join you in this one, Michele. As you know, I live here too. Our air conditioning went out twice last week. Thankfully, it wasn’t a major preolbm and was able to be fixed. But you’re so right; many of the elderly and sick have it very hard in this weather.

  • Busenaz

    Thanks for sharing your negrbhois story and congrats to them! That’s what I love about brisk walking, you don’t need any special clothes other than good shoes, you can do it anywhere and can go at your own pace. So many people that are overweight will make excuses, I can’t walk a mile then walk to your mailbox, walk to the corner, walk around the block but get outside and start walking! Getting off the couch and starting is half the battle and a desire to change. Kudo’s to your husband for getting the bike out.