Summertime Heart Smarts

According to many studies on heart attacks and chest pain, they happen less often during the summer months. One belief of why this happens less often in the summertime is that during the winter blood clots can form more quickly due to the colder temperatures. Blood clots form inside of coronary arteries and are what bring on the heart attack symptoms.

While it may be due to the extreme cold in the wintertime, studies are showing that it’s more likely that the ideal temperature for healthy hearts is approximately 70 degrees. This is according to a study at the Lahey Clinic that is located in Burlington, MA.

Summertime’s Effect On Heart Conditions

While colder temperatures can make blood vessels in the legs and arms constrict in order to help retain the heat in the core of the body, your heart will have to work harder. If you have a heart condition, this could, in turn, trigger heart attacks. An example of this is that someone with heart conditions that shovels snow is more likely to have a heart attack after shoveling snow.

Here are a few reasons that summertime may be a healthier time for the heart.

Exercise

People are more likely to get out and get moving in the summer months. In the winter time, the colder conditions can make this much more dangerous. Summertime means that more people will be out walking and gardening and even riding bikes. This is ideal for heart health.

Diet

You’re much more likely to eat a healthy diet in the summertime. This is partly due to your diet choices. You’re more likely to get your fresh fruits and vegetables in lieu of heartier stews that could be laden with fats. The fresh fruits and vegetables are laden with antioxidants that can help to protect your heart. People are also much more likely to eat more fish during the summertime which can greatly improve your cholesterol levels.

Vitamin D

In the summertime, you’re going to be out in the sun more which promotes vitamin D in your body. The higher levels of Vitamin D, the more protected you are against heart disease. Your body requires the sunshine to manufacture vitamin D. The longer days also can increase your hormone levels that improve your heart health.

Less Colds and Flus

According to studies, people are much less likely to be sick during the summertime. This can also be linked to heart attacks. Infections may stem from stress or other issues and you can be at a higher risk for heart attack if you have the flu or a cold.

Summertime Heart Healthy Tips

Summertime is definitely better for heart health. You’ll have to watch for extreme heat however, many fail to note this and drop from heat exhaustion. Higher humidity is also very dangerous to heart health.

Follow These Tips To Have a Healthier Heart

Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic activity on most summer days. If you’ve been inside all winter, begin your outdoor activities slowly and always check with your doctor regarding your health issues.

Avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day and if there is high humidity.

Avoid going outside when the air quality is bad. This can also  lead to more heart attacks.

Never push yourself in the heat. Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish.

Don’t drink too much alcohol or coffee (caffeine) that can lead to dehydration.

Avoid extremes in the weather such as extremely high temperatures, humidity or other factors.

Always remember that summertime can bring its own risks with it. Keep an eye on air pollution, weather extremes and be sure to spend more time with family and friends as well. According to statistics, those with more social connections are much less likely to have a heart attack than those who have no social connections.