Tips for a heart-healthy summer

Last summer was the hottest in Europe, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service . And this year, forecasts point to a similar rise in temperatures. With heat, cardiovascular health can be affected. That is why experts recommend following a series of guidelines with which to prevent possible problems that affect our heart.

These are the main ones:

always hydrated

By sweating more due to the effect of high temperatures, we lose more water. Hence the importance of replacing more frequently the liquid that our body gets rid of and, if possible, drinking water before we feel thirsty . As a general rule, it is recommended that boys between the ages of 9 and 13 consume about 2.1 liters per day and girls, 1.9. From that age, women should consume at least 2 liters a day, a little more if they are pregnant or breastfeeding, while for men the recommended amount is 2.5 liters. If we drink less water than our body needs, some functions of the body can begin to fail: dehydration can lead to poor kidney function and this can cause arrhythmias.

Watch out for the sun

In the central hours of the day, cardiovascular risk is accentuated because the body loses much more water when thermometers soar. For this reason, the recommendation of the experts is to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun precisely during those hours , seeking shade or spaces so as not to be directly exposed to it. In the morning or when the sun is no longer so hot, we can expose ourselves to it for 15 or 20 minutes a day to synthesize vitamin D, which we need because it plays an important role in the physiology of the cardiovascular system .

Healthy eating also away from home

Although during the holidays we usually alter our routines by eating more away from home, experts remind us that it is key to maintain a healthy diet that includes fish and vegetables, fruits, which are also rich in water and can contribute significantly to the total amount of water we need, whole grains and legumes, which we can now have in a salad. Likewise, it is advisable to try to avoid the consumption of trans fats , present mainly in processed products such as cookies, industrial pastries, pre-cooked foods, snacks, ice creams, creams and shakes.

caution with alcohol

There is increasing evidence of the association between alcohol consumption and the development of atrial fibrillation , so it is recommended to limit its consumption. But in addition, it can cause us to dehydrate more easily, so special care must be taken during these months.

Physical exercise at the right times

Physical exercise can help us control risk factors such as being overweight, high blood pressure or high levels of sugar and cholesterol. However, with high temperatures the amount of liquid that we lose through sweat increases, and if we are doing intense physical activity, this loss is even greater. That is why experts advise practicing sports at dawn or dusk if we have the possibility to choose a time. In any case, it is recommended to avoid the time slot that goes from 12:00 to 18:00.


by Abdullah Sam
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