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Keeping your heart healthy in the summer heat

“It’s easy to kind of give up and not stay active and stay inside, but I think it’s a matter of staying creative,” Rebecca Sieg said.

YORK, Pa. — Summertime brings the heat. But how can you stay active and maintain a healthy heart during some of the hottest months?

Staying hydrated is key, according to the American Heart Association, for any kind of outdoor activity in the heat. They say you should drink water even if you don't feel thirsty. 

“Definitely lots and lots of water, and I think that’s important for anybody even if they don’t have a heart transplant, to stay hydrated," Rebecca Sieg said. "I try to drink at least eight bottles of water a day." 

Sieg is in her 30s, a mom of two kids, and she's a heart transplant survivor. She says for people with health restrictions like her, you can still enjoy some fun in the sun, you just have to figure out what works best for you. 

“It’s easy to kind of give up and not stay active and stay inside, but I think it’s a matter of staying creative,” she said. 

Giving up was not an option for her. Before Sieg's heart transplant, she was diagnosed with ARVD, a heart condition that kept her from the college athlete workouts she was used to. 

“So ,what I did to stay healthy after that diagnosis was I walked a lot; that was the basis of how I exercised," Sieg said. 

Listening to your body and your doctor's orders are two things the American Heart Association says you should be doing when exercising in the heat of summer. 

“Even people with restrictions health-wise can absolutely still find ways to keep active; it’s about finding what works for you," she said. 

She says she's grateful that she can do some of the summer activities she's always loved like playing tennis and biking, but most importantly, being active with her kids.

“Without the transplant and my donor it wouldn’t be possible for me to be running around the beach with my kids," Sieg said. "I used to just watch them, and not be able to kind of interact in those activities and be able to be their mom fully. Being active with them is definitely a gift."  

The American Heart Association encourages you to get your whole family up and moving. They say it's best to plan ahead and set aside time for your entire family to make physical activity part of your schedule. The organization also has some tips for you and your family to get active, regardless of the weather. 

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