The Summer heat can be hard on your heart. With the expected heat wave coming this week there are a few things you should know to enjoy the weather while keeping your heart from working too hard. Temperatures are expected to hit the 90's this week and while its a great time to get out and enjoy the beauty of Summer in Central New York, it is important to remember that prolonged exposure to sun and heat can cause health problems.

As it gets hotter outside the risk of developing heat related health issues like heat stroke and heat exhaustion increases. Doctors recommend practicing good judgement when it comes to outdoor activities in the heat.

Some precautions to take while enjoying the outdoors in the heat are:

Stay hydrated by drinking water during and after exercise. Stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

Dress properly for the heat. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing as well as breathable fabrics such as cotton or new breathable fabrics. Choose well-ventilated shoes and wear socks that wick away perspiration.

Take regular breaks. Find a cool place with some shade and stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.

It is also important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and exhaustion.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion: Headaches, heavy sweating, cold clamy skin with chills, dizzyness or fainting, weak and rapid pulse, muscle cramps, nausea/vomiting or both.

Symptoms of heat stroke: warm dry skin with no sweating, strong rapid pulse, confusion and/or loss of consciousness, high fever, headaches, nausea/vomiting or both.

For more information visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org or call 1-800-AHA-USA-1