Summer is just about here. It's time to start thinking about your heart. You might not realize this, but the hotter temperatures of summer can have a devastating impact on your heart. This is particularly true if you're over the age of 50, and not taking adequate steps to protect your heart from heat damage. Now that summer is on the way, here are four steps you'll need to take to keep your heart healthy.
Talk to Your Doctor About Your Medications
If you're taking prescription medication, you need to talk to your doctor about them before the temperature starts to rise. There are certain medications that can cause adverse reactions during the summer, especially if you're taking them on a regular basis. For instance, if you're taking diuretics, dehydration can be a problem during the summer. If you have high blood pressure, your blood pressure medication can leave you susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Your doctor will be able to help you identify the medications that may react with the heat.
Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
When you're over the age of 50, dehydration can pose a serious risk. This is due to the fact that it takes more for your body to realize that it's in need of water. Dehydration is bad for your entire body, but it's particularly bad for your heart. When you're dehydrated, your heart needs to work harder to pump blood through your body. To reduce your risk of heart problems caused by dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Keep a refillable water bottle on you at all times, especially during the hottest part of the day.
Limit Your Consumption of Alcohol and Caffeine
If you drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages, it's important that you limit your consumption of them during the summer, especially during the day. You might not realize this, but alcohol and caffeine can lead to dehydration. To protect your heart, stick to plain water, or decaffeinated beverages during the day. Enjoy your caffeinated and alcoholic beverages in the evening, once the temperatures go down.
Come Inside During the Hottest Part of the Day
When you're over the age of 50, you need to take care of your heart during the summer. One way to do that is to limit your exposure to the heat. If the heat is causing you weakness, or you take medication that reacts with hot temperatures, it's best for you to come inside during the hottest part of the day. If you must be outside, be sure to wear a hat, carry a bottle of water, and bring along a small, personal fan to help cool you down.
For more information, contact a company like Temecula Valley Cardiology.Share