Summer is here!
To many people, summer means vacations, spending time at the pool or beach, family reunions, barbeques, boating, camping, tennis, golf, and other recreational activities.
Here are some tips for you and your family to have a heart-healthy summer:
Drink plenty of water before, during and after physical activity to avoid dehydration. To add some flavor, add slices of citrus fruits, watermelon, berries, cucumber or mint to your water.
- Be active
Exercise is an important part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise will help keep your arteries flexible and open, therefore keeping your heart healthy. At the very least, short, brisk walks are beneficial. The ideal amount of heart-healthy exercise is aerobic activity for 30 minutes 5 days a week. If you have heart issues, be sure to talk to your cardiologist about what exercise plan is right for you.
- Wear sunscreen
Wear wide-brimmed hats, apply water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
- Avoid hottest time of day
Avoid participating in intense activities between noon and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its strongest. If you live in a hot desert or high humidity area, wake up early to spend time outdoors like gardening, going on a walk or various sports.
- Dress appropriately
Wear lightweight and light colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton or moisture wicking, and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Manage stress
Research shows that stress can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. So if you have to deal with a difficult family member at a family reunion this summer, take a deep breath and come up with some coping solutions before you go.
- Eat a nutritious diet
A healthy diet is essential to having a heart-healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association has information about eating right for your heart as well as other great information about having a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Here is a heart-healthy recipe to try on your grill:
Mediterranean-style grilled salmon
- 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 4 salmon fillets, approx. 5 ounces ea.
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- 8 green olives, sliced (optional)
- 4 slices fresh lemon
Prepare a charcoal/gas grill or a broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with olive oil cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.
In a small bowl, combine the basil, parsley, minced garlic and lemon juice. Spray the fish with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with black pepper. Top each fillet with equal amounts of the herb-garlic mixture. Place the fish herb-side down on the grill. Grill over high heat. When the edges turn white, after about 3 to 4 minutes, turn the fish over and place on aluminum foil. Move the fish to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat. Grill until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife (about 4 minutes).
Then squeeze lemon slices on fish and serve with sliced green olives.