How to Keep Your Heart Healthy in the Summer Heat

  • By Heo Sang-woo

    July 09, 2019 08:22

    Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating. People with cardiovascular disease need to take care of themselves with extra caution, especially during the sweltering summer months as most heart attacks can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle.

    "To prevent cardiac arrest, it is essential to maintain sufficient water intake," said Chang Ki-yuk at Catholic University's St. Mary's Hospital. "Drinking water regularly keeps the blood thin and boosts circulation. You may crave iced coffee or cold beer on hot summer days to quench your thirst, but caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages are not good for the heart, making it dehydrated."

    Excessive use of air-conditioning is not healthy, as it can cause dehydration. It is also not a good idea to wear clothes made from non-breathable fabrics in summer when the weather is hot and humid.

    Your body produces sweat to help cool itself down when you're dehydrated, but if your body cannot perspire and does not have proper blood circulation, it can put a burden on your heart, triggering a heart attack.

    Park Duk-woo at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, said, "On hot summer days, try to minimize excessive outdoor activities."

    Cold showers are not good, either. Doctors advise that it is better to shower in lukewarm water. If that doesn't cool you down enough, start with lukewarm water and then gradually lower the temperature. Your body maintains an optimum temperature by regulating blood pressure. Sudden exposure to cold water increases blood pressure and heart rate, putting a burden on the heart. Doing warm-up exercises before swimming is also a must.

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