American Heart Association Encourages Heart Healthy Summer

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American Heart Association Encourages Heart Healthy Summer

Summer is here – which means high temps that not only encourage people to head outdoors for barbecues and activities, but that can also be harmful to your heart health. This summer, the American Heart Association ( wants to encourage you to protect your heart by following these steps:

Staying hydrated helps your heart pump blood more easily through the vessels to the muscles, so it doesn’t have to work as hard.

Exercising in the summer heat can be dangerous. Drink up and stay hydrated – preferably with water. Dress for the heat; wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton as well as breathable socks and shoes. Wear water-resistant sunscreen and take regular breaks.

When making delicious meals that are also heart-healthy, opt for fish and chicken breasts instead of red meat. Take advantage of summer seasonal foods by serving up a salad or side dishes filled with raw fruits and veggies.

Two of the greatest risks of spending too much time outdoors during the summer are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you experience any of these symptoms, cool yourself off with water or shade and call 911 if they persist: high fever (above 104° F); hot, dry, or red skin; fast or weak pulse; fast or shallow breathing; irrational behavior or extreme confusion; seizure or unconsciousness.

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