Be Cool in the Heat

Be Cool in the Heat

5 ways to help your heart when temps rise

Photo: Man exercising outdoors.

Hot, humid weather makes your heart work harder. Use these tips to keep your body cool and ease the strain on your heart.

Check your meds. Certain heart medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors can affect how your body reacts to heat and humidity. Before hot weather arrives, review your medications with your doctor.

Chill out. Take time to relax when the mercury soars. Most of your to-dos can wait. If you don't have air conditioning, spend a few hours in a place that does, like the library or the mall.

Consume water. Sip water throughout the day, but remember that fruits and vegetables also hydrate. Melons, celery, tomatoes, strawberries, and cucumbers are 90 percent water. If you have congestive heart failure, ask your doctor how much you should drink.

Dress like Lawrence of Arabia. Think light-colored, lightweight fabrics that "breathe." Add sunglasses, a broad-brimmed hat, and sunscreen.

Know heat stroke's symptoms. They include a headache, pounding pulse, dizziness, confusion, and heavy sweating with cool, clammy skin. Get out of the heat, apply cool water to your skin, and call for medical help.