Summertime heat brings with it special considerations for those with heart conditions, and it’s especially important to stay hydrated and as cool as possible during these dog days.
For every degree your body’s temperature rises, your heart beats 10 BPM faster, according to Harvard Health. While a study published in 2014 said most cases of atrial fibrillation tend to occur in the winter, those with irregular heartbeats should take special precautions in the summer as well — higher temperatures can trigger AFib as your heart works harder to regulate itself.
Here are some ways to alleviate that stress:
* Stay hydrated. Dehydration is one trigger for atrial fibrillation, not to mention stroke.
* Avoid going outside between about noon and 3 p.m.
* Get in air conditioning. A fan is of little use if it’s circulating 95-degree air.
* Reduce caffeine and alcohol, as these can cause dehydration.
* Avoid exercising in the heat.
* Take a cool shower and put an ice pack under your arm or near the groin.
* Wear well-ventilated shoes.
* Take breaks. Schedule in more breaks than you normally would in order to conserve energy and prevent overheating.