Summer is here! While we enjoy longer days, trips to the beach and cookouts …we also deal with rise in temperate. If you live in the South like we do (hello Music City!) you know we also have an increase in humidity. Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be a complication of heat stroke and electrolyte imbalance. Two things that can easily happen in the warmer months.
While most of us can withstand the heat for short periods of time thanks to our natural cooling mechanisms (sweating and evaporation), some people with cardiac conditions or those who take certain medications can be at a higher risk. Here are five things to remember this summer to help keep you cool.
- Stay hydrated– Drink water. When you sweat, your body loses fluids that you need to replace. Replacing them keeps you from getting dehydrated. If you have a heart problem and become dehydrated, you might get an irregular heartbeat. Drinking water keeps you hydrated without the extra calories from sugars, harmful chemicals from artificial sweeteners, or the dehydrating effects of caffeine added to other beverages. The human body, on average, is about 60% water. It is the one almost universal needs for most life forms on the planet. Pro tip: If you get tired of just drinking plain water try adding frozen berries or even mint leaves or lime/lemon slices. Also opt for snacks with high-water content such as watermelon, cantaloupe, celery, tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Dress light– Wear loose, light-colored clothing in hot weather. Loose clothing helps sweat evaporate. Try breathable, synthetic fabrics made to wick away sweat and dry quickly. These keep you cool and comfortable. Your feet also sweat in hot weather, so wear ventilated footwear.
- Keep Cool– Remember that southern humidity I mentioned? The reason we feel most uncomfortable in hot humid weather is because once the humidity reaches levels over 75%, it becomes more difficult for the sweat on our skin to evaporate making it harder for us to cool ourselves. Find cool air! Air conditioning works in two ways – one, it cools the air and two, it dries the air. Taking a dip in the pool or the ocean also helps cool your body. If you don’t have access to a pool put an ice pack or some ice cubes on your head to stay cool. Use cold compresses on various parts of your body. If you’re outdoors in the sun, find shade or shelter after 20 minutes.
- Eat light– Keep your heart happy between summer all of those cookouts and ice cream cones. Eating heavy food can put stress on your heart and stomach. Have you ever noticed your heart pounding a little harder after a steak dinner? Heavy, protein-laden meals require more blood to digest. Try grilling vegetable kabobs with fresh local vegetables and corn on the cob. For extra points, put some fish on the grill. Seared tuna and salmon give you heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- Take breaks– Don’t push yourself. Avoid extreme heat during peak hours of the day (typically from noon to 3 p.m.) Take frequent breaks if you find yourself becoming fatigued or short of breath. If you feel dizzy in the heat, rest in a cool shady area and elevate your feet. This will keep the blood moving from your heart to your brain and will reduce the feeling of fainting.
From all of us at Coro Medical, home of AED.US, we hope you have a cool and heart healthy summer. For questions or purchasing options please reach out to us at 800-695-1209 or visit AED.US!
Written by Blaire Czarniecki
Customer Service Director
Fact checked by Phillip Woods, BA, NREMT-P, FP-C
Blaire attended the University of Tennessee where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology- Child and Family Studies. She has been in the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) industry for over eight years and is the Director of Customer Service for Coro Medical. Blaire is also an American Red Cross-certified CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor, highly trained by each manufacturer on their specific AEDs, and knowledgeable regarding ALL State AED regulations and legislation.
“I know that every day I come to work, I am playing a part in saving someone’s life. I am passionate about these devices and am always looking for new and innovative ways to spread awareness and knowledge about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I look forward to the day when everywhere I go, I will see an AED—when SCA will no longer take any lives.”
Last updated July 2, 2019