Live to the Beat | Top 8 Ways to Stay Heart Healthy this Summer

Top 8 Ways to Stay Heart Healthy this Summer

Top 8 Ways to Stay Heart Healthy this Summer

By: Dr. Lisa Waddell, Chief Medical Officer, CDC Foundation

There’s no day like today for people to add heart healthy habits to their summer plans! Warmer temperatures put more stress on the heart, which has to work harder to keep the body cool. Here are some fun, simple ways to improve heart health this summer:

  1. Move More. Invite friends for a walk around the neighborhood, play ball with your kids, dance before dinner—challenge yourself to 5 minutes of movement every day this summer. And when you’re on vacation, walk to dinner instead of drive or take a scenic hike—just keep moving.
  2. Eat Healthier. Many fruits and vegetables are at their peak in the summer. Rotate a fresh side into your nightly dinner, like corn on the cob, strawberries or tomato salad.
  3. Control Blood Pressure. Take a first step in lowering your blood pressure by cutting back on salt – use salt-free seasoning for your grilled meats.
  4. Manage Cholesterol. Focus on making one healthy swap this summer - use olive oil instead of butter when cooking.
  5. Manage Blood Sugar. Regularly check your blood sugar this summer and make sure you're at healthy levels—helping improve your heart health, and even your sex life.
  6. Work with a Doctor. You're not alone if you put off your doctor appointments. Commit this summer to scheduling one appointment you've been putting off.
  7. Stress Less. Build a sleep routine during the more leisurely summer months so it will be easier to maintain come the rush of fall. Better sleep is key to less stress.
  8. Quit Smoking. Pick a date this summer and throw out all your cigarettes and everything that reminds you of smoking.

Heart disease remains the #1 killer of Americans, and mortality rates are rising particularly among adults ages 25-65, and we saw a death rate 2.5 higher for Black adults than their white counterparts in 2019.

It’s never too late to take small steps to help lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Find a small step that works for you today.