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Don't play 'catch up': Follow these steps to keep your heart healthy in the heat

“If you wait until you’re thirsty, then you’re trying to catch up the entire time.”

FLORIDA, USA — It may be fall but the heat and humidity aren’t done with us yet here in the Tampa Bay area. 

The American Heart Association says if you’re active outdoors, plan accordingly when it comes to keeping your heart healthy in the heat. 

The association suggests five precautions including watching the clock to avoid the peak temperatures, dressing in lightweight clothing, drinking plenty of water, taking regular breaks and following doctors' orders regarding your medications.

Dr. Paul Nanda, chief Medical Officer at TGH Urgent Care says to stick with the basics when it comes to hydration. 

“Just plain water is still the best route to go. If you’re conditioning and doing really extreme exercises at the same time, that’s when you want to replace those electrolytes as well. Or, if you’re dehydrated already, maybe that’s the time to replace electrolytes but just plain water is great to stay hydrated.”  

He says start hydrating before you go because “if you wait until you’re thirsty, then you’re trying to catch up the entire time.”

According to the American Heart Association, symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, heavy sweating, dizziness, muscle cramps and nausea. 

If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising and immediately move to a cooler space.

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