Brooklyn Summertime Heat Concerns for Those with Heart Disease
Studies have shown that there are fewer heart attacks during the summer than during the winter because there is normally less stress on the body in the summer than there is during the winter. However, this does not mean that everyone should be less concerned about having a heart attack during the summer. If you suffer from heart disease and are seeing a Brooklyn cardiologist or have had a heart attack in the past, you should still be on alert as the summer heat can present problems. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to decrease the risk of having heart issues during the summer heat that invades the Brooklyn area each year. Here are some of the things you can do to minimize the risk of having heart health issues during a hot summer day.
Why Summertime Heat is Dangerous
The optimum temperature that is beneficial to the heart is roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The air is cool enough so the body doesn’t overheat under normal conditions and there is less stress overall on the heart. However, when the temperature rises up into the high eighties and nineties (along with high humidity levels), the body struggles to lose the heat it generates doing normal activities like walking to the store or around the neighborhood.
The heart reacts to the increase in body temperature by pumping more of your blood to your extremities and skin so you lose the heat through the process of evaporation. This increased blood movement causes the body to drain essential nutrients and minerals like potassium, sodium, and salt from your muscles as well as the water needed to keep your body hydrated and functioning well. Losing the nutrients and water puts stress on the heart. A healthy heart can typically withstand the loss of the nutrients and water until they are replenished, but if you have heart disease, the losses could cause the heart to malfunction.
How to Help your Heart
The best thing to do on a hot and humid summer day is to cut back on your physical activities as much as possible. If you have air conditioning, stay in your cool house and read a book or watch television. If you don’t have air conditioning, try to go to a park by the ocean or a river where you can find a cool breeze and sit in the shade. A hot day is also a good time to see a matinee in an air conditioned Movie Theater.
You should also discuss your situation with a Brooklyn cardiologist before the height o the heat arrives during the summer so you can develop a personalized strategy on how to handle the summertime heat and humidity before it envelopes the Brooklyn area.