Polish the sunglasses and pull out the sunscreen, summer arrives on Friday! This means a couple of things– warm weather and long nights. Whether it’s family picnics, days at the pool, or baseball games, summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors. But as the seasonal calendar flips, your health should remain at the forefront of your priorities. Most importantly, your heart health.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approximately 600,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. every year. Sadly, that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for both men and women. More alarmingly, nearly half (49%) of Americans suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking addiction. These numbers are very serious, as should your commitment to keeping your heart healthy and strong. In the coming months, be cognizant of the ways in which you can improve the health of yourself and your family as the weather heats up.
Continuing with the theme of summer, below you’ll find Summer Tips for a Healthy Heart courtesy of the American Heart Association.
- Hydrate! Drink plenty of water before, during and after physical activity to avoid dehydration.
- Protect your family from the sun. Wear wide-brimmed hats, always apply water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and reapply every 2 hours.
- Heat safety. Avoid intense activities between noon and 3 p/m/ when the sun is at its strongest.
- Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light colored clothing , choose light, breathable fabrics such as cotton, and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Head indoors. When the heat gets unbearable, try indoor activities at your local YMCA or rec center like basketball, swimming, yoga or racquetball.
During summer, it is more imperative than ever to take the necessary precautions to care for your heart. Practice the tips listed above and don’t forget to surround yourself with the ones that you love. Because it is those around you who truly keep you happy, healthy and strong!