9 tips for a heart-healthy summer from the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is providing tips to keep your family and yourself happy and healthy this summer.
Although this year your summer traditions may be different, be sure to keep in mind your heart and brain health throughout the longer daylight hours.
According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, heart disease and stroke remain the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the U.S., yet 80 percent of these diseases are preventable with simple lifestyle modifications, such as healthy eating and regular exercise.
The summer is the perfect time to enjoy seasonal produce and to add physical activity to your daily routine.
Here are the American Heart Association’s top tips for a heart-healthy summer:

1. Learn hands-only CPR.

Days by the pool and ocean can be fun, but always be prepared for the unthinkable. Hands-Only CPR has only two steps: If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, 1) Call 911, and 2) Press hard and fast in the center of the chest. Learn more by clicking here, and watch the video below:

2. Stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of fluids (preferably water) throughout the day and before, during and after working out to maintain salt-water balance. Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages.

3. Exercise smarter, not harder.

Plan your workout for the cooler parts of the day – either early morning or early evening when the sun’s radiation is at its least. If you must exercise during the hottest part of the day or in high humidity, decrease exercise intensity and duration.

4. Dress the part.

Wear minimal amounts of clothing that allow for quick evaporation of sweat. Choose lightweight, light-colored and breathable fabrics, such as cotton.

5. Choose fresh veggies.

Take advantage of fresh seasonal veggies. Load up skewers with mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash or other veggies. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray and grill until lightly blackened.

6. Pack to play.

When taking a family road trip, plan to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine. Pack a football, soccer ball, Frisbee or paddle ball so that you can be physically active while away.

7. Enjoy fruit pops.

Homemade freezer pops are an easy, fun treat for kids to make and enjoy. Mash up fruit like peaches, grapes, berries or watermelon and put into paper cups, insert a popsicle stick and freeze overnight.

8. Protect yourself from the sun.

Wear wide-brimmed hats, always apply water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and reapply sunscreen every two hours.

9. Head indoors.

When the heat gets unbearable, try indoor activities at your local YMCA or rec center like basketball, swimming, yoga or racquetball.
For more tips on staying active and healthy this summer, click here.