If you live in Arizona, you know how important it is to remain hydrated and keep cool. Yesterday we talked about how l-arginine mixed with water can help to keep your blood pressure low even as dehydration threatens to increase your risk for hypertension. Today we wanted to offer a public service announcement, so to speak, regarding your risk for heatstroke and heat exhaustion during an Arizona summer.

Heat Exhaustion

Sticking to your heart healthy diet during the Arizona summer can be quite easy, as the heat tends to make individuals naturally crave fruits and light meals. However, sticking to a workout regiment during the hot summer months can be much more difficult. When temperatures easily rise to over 110 degrees each day, and well over 90 degrees even in the early morning hours, it can be increasingly difficult to go for that morning jog or bike ride.

Heat exhaustion in Arizona is quite common, as the temperatures rise and individuals continue to push their bodies to the limit in terms of exercise. Heat exhaustion occurs when you’ve been exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time and have developed dehydration. You might have heat exhaustion from water depletion, or heat exhaustion from salt depletion. Either way, heat exhaustion, though not as serious as heatstroke, should be taken very seriously.

There are certain factors that come into play that might put you at higher risk for heat exhaustion, such as your age (under 4-years-old and over  65 are at greater risk), if you have heart disease, lung disease, are obese or underweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes, mental illness, sickle cell trait, or if you have had too much alcohol.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke is far more serious than heat exhaustion, and can lead to brain damage and death. Heat exhaustion needs to be taken incredibly seriously and should be treated immediately. Heatstroke usually occurs due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures, like the temps we have here in Arizona, in combination with dehydration.

Medically speaking, heatstroke occurs when the body’s core temperature rises to above 105 degrees. As with heat exhaustion, there are risk factors associated with heatstroke, which include age, medications that you might be taking, heart disease, obesity, underweight, high blood pressure, diabetes, sunburn, alcoholism and mental illness.

Stay Hydrated and Heart Healthy

Both heatstroke and heat exhaustion should not be taken lightly. In order to avoid both of these scenarios, be smart about when you chose to exercise and how much water you are consuming. Use sunscreen when exercising outdoors and drink plenty of water. And don’t forget to mix in Cardio Juvenate with that water to give your heart a healthy alternative.