How Heat Affects Your Heart

From beach days to jogs in the park, there are many reasons to get outside this summer. But, no matter your age, physical-fitness level or history with heart-related illness, it’s important to take precautions while out in the heat. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, “High temperatures and high humidity can cause more blood flow to the skin. This causes the heart to beat faster while circulating twice as much blood per minute than on a normal day.” While, for most people, this bodily response is manageable, it can be detrimental to people with heart disease, especially if they’re taking ACE inhibitors. 

Warning Signs You’re Overheated

If your body isn’t keeping up with the heat, you’ll begin to notice several signs and symptoms, including:

  • Clammy hands and skin
  • Chills 
  • Confusion and dizziness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Sweating or inability to sweat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and cramps
  • Nausea

Safety Tips

  • Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that repels sweat. You might also consider wearing UV-protecting shirts when outside for hours at a time.
  • Stay hydrated. We also recommend avoiding caffeine or alcohol prior to being in the heat.
  • Use sunscreen. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours. Wearing a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses can help, too. 
  • Avoid going outside from noon to 3 p.m. This is the hottest part of the day and the time when the sun is typically at its strongest.

We also recommend seeing a healthcare specialist before spending long hours outside if you are experiencing symptoms of or have already been diagnosed with heart disease.

We’re Here to Help

The cardiologists at Mobile Heart Specialists treat a variety of heart conditions. Whether you’ve had a condition for an extended period of time or are experiencing new issues, we can create a personalized treatment plan for you and your life. Make an appointment today by calling 251-433-4700.