Summer doesn’t just bring high temperatures. It is also the time when we usually enjoy well-deserved vacations that, for most, are characterized by a change in habits. Today we are up to 7 tips for heart healthy summer.
Among them, less organized schedules, more meals away from home with the family and even less rest, although now we have a little more time to ourselves.
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What are the 7 tips for heart healthy summer?
It is time to relax and enjoy, but that enjoyment does not have to be at odds. Maintaining heart-healthy habits that will have a positive impact on our body and allow us to enjoy even more. These are the tips from the experts to achieve it:
1. Avoid prolonged exposures to the sun
Especially in the mid hours of the day, when cardiovascular risk is accentuated in those prone to circulatory or arterial problems, it is advisable to avoid exposing too much to the sun.
One reason is that the body loses much more water when thermometers soar, and may suffer an episode of dehydration. Better to stay in the shade or in closed spaces where we are not directly exposed to the sun during those hours.
However, sunbathing avoiding the mid hours is good and healthy in order to synthesize vitamin D, whose cardioprotective effects have been demonstrated.
Except in summer, sun exposure is low and our average vitamin D levels are often very low as well. How to take these sunbaths?
According to experts, exposing the body for 15 to 20 minutes a day, avoiding the middle hours of the day, ideally between 9 and 11 am. Once the sun exposure is over, it is advisable to apply a moisturizing cream to the exposed skin.
2. Drink enough water
As we said in the previous point, high temperatures cause us to lose more water, and for the proper functioning of the body, we must hydrate our body. According to experts, we have to drink two to three liters of water daily, even if not thirsty, to meet the demand of hydration of the body.
3. Alcohol precautions
Alcohol consumption usually increases in summer, when hours are more relaxed and we are less strict when it comes to taking care of our health.
However, it is a habit that we must avoid.
Alcohol is toxic to the heart muscle that can even weaken it, causing a disease called dilated cardiomyopathy. In addition, there are certain cardiac arrhythmias related to excessive alcohol consumption, such as atrial fibrillation.
Two other good reasons to avoid excess consumption of alcohol are that it makes it difficult for us to maintain our weight and increases cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
4. Healthy nutrition
The excesses when sitting at the table are also frequent in summer when we eat more frequently with friends or family away from home. However, also on those occasions, we can maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
If we opt for seasonal foods, which will also have more quality and flavor, we will be making a good choice. Fish, vegetables and fruits should have a presence in our weekly diet, and summer is a perfect time to establish this healthy eating routine. Nor should we forget the legumes that we can now take in salad.
5. Exercise at the right time
Proper exercise is one of the best options we have to keep our heart in shape, and that is why we must continue practicing sports in the summer. However, some basic precautions must be taken. Among them, hydrate well and avoid the hottest hours.
The ideal is to practice sports in the morning or late in the afternoon when the temperatures are lower. In very hot and humid conditions, the heart has less reserve capacity to remove heat from the body and can become overloaded.
6. Rest to regain strength
Staying up late and following a somewhat messier schedule than in our usual routine is also common on summer vacations. Although it is not necessary that we be very strict when going to bed, it is advisable to sleep 7 or 8 hours a day to regain strength.
The lack of sleep increases blood levels of stress hormones, which increase blood pressure and heart rate.
7. Don’t forget the medication
Summer is a change in customs and our activity can vary from day to day. That is why we can have some misunderstandings with the pharmacological treatment that we follow. However, lack of adherence to treatment in cardiovascular diseases is a major health problem. A good idea is to set alarms on your mobile, to remind us that we must take medication.