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For Your Heart, Watch the Summertime Heat

When summer arrives, you may wonder how to stay cool as temperatures rise. Dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke can be a concern for people with heart trouble—especially heart failure. That’s because your heart may have difficulty pumping blood to your skin, where heat is released. Your medication may make it harder to sweat, too. Sweating also helps you cool off.

Seek out the cool

The best way to cool off is to get to an air-conditioned environment. If your home is not air-conditioned, head to the mall, library, or movie theater.

Try these tips, too:

  • Plan activities for early morning or late evening.

  • Shower, bathe, or sponge yourself off with cool water.

  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothes.

Stay hydrated

If you’ve been sweating, your body probably needs more fluid. But some people with heart problems need to limit their fluid intake, and some are taking diuretics, which help the body to release excess fluid in the urine. So be sure to check with your health care provider about whether it is safe for you to drink more fluids when it's hot out.