As temperatures rise during summer, precautions are especially important for older adults and people with high blood pressure, obesity or a history of heart disease and stroke.
hero_image_alt_text===couple on park bench drinking water
thumbnail_alt_text===couple on park bench drinking water
While infants and the elderly are more vulnerable to problems from heat, extreme temperatures can cause health issues for anyone. "Staying hydrated is key. It is easy to get dehydrated even if you don’t think you’re thirsty,” said Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M., FAHA, past president of the American Heart Association. “Drink water before, during and after going outside in hot weather. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty."
We suggest that everyone follows these top 5 hot weather precautions:
- Watch the clock: It’s best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (about noon to 3 p.m.) because the sun is usually at its strongest
- Dress for the heat: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a newer fabric that repels sweat
- Drink up: Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after going outside or exercising
- Take regular breaks: Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again
- Follow the doctor’s orders: Continue to take all medications as prescribed
To learn about the warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, visit our page on keeping cool to be heart-healthy when temperatures rise.