10 Jul

With summer at our doorstep, it's the perfect time for barbecues, beach trips, and enjoying the great outdoors. Summer brings a special joy with its long days, vibrant sunsets, and the freedom to spend more time outside. Whether you're planning a relaxing picnic in the park, a vigorous hike through nature trails, or simply lounging by the pool, the season offers countless opportunities for enjoyment and relaxation.

However, amidst the excitement, it's crucial to remember that staying safe and cool is vital, especially if you're one of the many Americans with high blood pressure. The heat of summer, can pose significant health risks if proper precautions aren't taken. As temperatures rise, so do the risks associated with heat and humidity. It is essential to be mindful of how your body responds to the heat. High temperatures can put additional strain on your cardiovascular system, leading to potential complications for those with hypertension. Understanding how to protect yourself while still making the most of the sunny season is key to maintaining your health and well-being.

Why Summer Heat is a Big Deal for High Blood Pressure

Experts from the Mayo Clinic tell us that the summer heat and humidity can cause serious health consequences for people with high blood pressure. When it's hot and humid outside, your blood pressure can be affected by your body's attempts to radiate heat. The most significant risk is when the temperature is above 70 degrees and the humidity is more than 70%. 

Who Needs to Be Extra Careful?

  • People over 50
  • Anyone who's carrying extra weight
  • Folks with heart, lung, or kidney conditions
  • People taking certain meds like water pills, sedatives, or meds for high blood pressure

Signs That the Heat's Too Much

Keep an eye out for these red flags:

  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Rapid pulse
  • Excessive sweating or an inability to sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Nausea
  • Swelling in your arms or legs

If you or a loved one exhibits one or two symptoms, seek medical intervention immediately.

Tips for a Cool Summer

  1. Drink Lots of Water: It keeps you hydrated!
  2. Chill in the Shade: Avoid direct sunlight, especially during the middle of the day.
  3. Keep an Eye on Your Blood Pressure: If you have a monitor at home, use it to monitor your blood pressure.
  4. Wear Light Clothes: Choose loose and light-colored clothes to reflect the sun.
  5. Mind Your Meds: Store your medications in a cool place and talk to your doctor about how they interact with heat.

Want more tips?

Our Health Coaches for Hypertension program teaches you how to stay healthy with hypertension throughout the year. You'll learn important information like how to eat right, get moving in ways that are good for your heart, and manage your meds when it's hot outside. Plus, you'll meet incredible health coaches and other participants on the same wellness journey.

Go here to learn more about our Health Coaches for Hypertension program!

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