Avoiding cardiac arrest while exercising

July 4, 2011 at 5:57 PM
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NEW YORK, July 4 (UPI) -- Summer is the perfect time to exercise outdoors, but it can also lead to dehydration, sweating, exhaustion and even a cardiac event, a U.S. doctor says.

Dr. Holly Andersen and Dr. Arash Salemi, both of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, say for those who have already undergone open heart surgery, it is especially important to begin an exercise routine.

"However, patients should start slowly," Salemi says in a statement.

"Cardiac surgery patients should begin by exercising at a cardiac rehabilitation center first and then gradually move on to an exercise program that they can complete on their own."

For those looking to resume or begin a workout routine this summer, the physicians suggest:

-- Consulting your physician before beginning or changing a exercise regimen.

-- Taking your workout indoors, but when it is too hot or humid outside, exercise in a cool, air-conditioned space. Take advantage of the coolest times of the day, early morning or evening hours.

-- Taking time to work on stretching, breathing and posture.

-- Drinking plenty of fluids, before feeling thirsty. For endurance athletes or those age 75 and older replenish electrolytes as well.

-- Do not take an extremely hot or cold shower or a sauna after a workout because it can increase the workload on the heart.

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