Avoid Heat Exhaustion with Heart-Healthy Habits

Avoid Heat StrokeWhile it’s important to get out and enjoy the outdoors, heart patients may need to take special precautions to avoid heat exhaustion during the summer.

In addition to those with a history of heart problems, people who are over 50 years old or overweight should also check with their healthcare professional before beginning an exercise routine. Some heart medications such as diuretics, beta blockers, ace inhibitors, ace receptor blockers and calcium channel blockers can increase the possibility of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Jefferson Surgical Clinic reminds you to try to avoid the middle of the day (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and find a friend to join you for safety purposes. Some other tips to remember:

  1. Don’t forget your feet: Your body sweats as much in shoes as anywhere, so opt for ventilated shoes and socks that repel moisture. If your feet sweat heavily, try foot powder or antiperspirant.
  2. Hydrate: Drink several cups of water before, during and after exercising. Leave the caffeinated or alcoholic beverages alone. Because people may not even realize they’re thirsty, it’s important to drink water regardless of your perceived thirst level when exercising.
  3. Dress for the occasion: Lightweight and light-colored clothing is the best choice for outdoor physical activity. Wear a hat and/or sunglasses to provide further protection to your face and eyes.
  4. Take breaks: To help ward off heat exhaustion, find some shade periodically to cool off and sip on some water.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Elevated body temperatures can cause heat exhaustion, which can lead to the more serious heat stroke as body temperatures reach 104 degrees. Heat exhaustion symptoms include headaches, cool skin, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and dark urine. If you experience these, move to a cooler spot and try to cool off with wet cloths and fanning.

If you experience or witness the following symptoms of heat stroke, call 911 immediately: fever above 104 degrees; confusion or irrational behavior; hot and red skin; seizures; shallow breathing; and a rapid or weak pulse.

For more information on Jefferson Surgical Clinic’s cardiology services, call us at 540-283-6000.

Last modified on Monday, 20 August 2018 15:41