As the long, hot days of summer are upon us, many people with chronic conditions notice an uptick in their symptoms. Higher temperatures and humidity can make certain illnesses like COPD worse, if not adjusted for. When the body has to work harder to stay cool, it can place stress on the heart and lungs, potentially leading to greater shortness of breath or bronchospasms. Additionally, being outdoors more often can place you at risk for inhaling more environmental pollutants.
To avoid COPD complications in the heat, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Don’t go too long without drinking fresh, clean water. Always bring it with you, when you’re out and about, in a refillable bottle. Aim for 8-10 glasses each day.
2. Plan activities
If you can, try to avoid going out and being active during the middle hours of the day. Plan your activities, errands, and social outings for either early in the day, or later in the evenings, when the weather is cooler. And try to emphasize indoor spots with good air conditioning.
3. Wear the right clothing
Allow your skin to breathe, so you can stay cool, with lighter fabrics. Choose looser-fitting clothing made of lightweight materials. Also make sure you use a good, non-toxic sunscreen for your face and body when outside.
4. Don’t overdo it
It’s good to stay active, but don’t push yourself too much in the summer heat. You may not notice how tired or dehydrated you’re getting, until you feel your COPD symptoms acting up. Try to exercise indoors, or in the coolest hours of the day.
Want more tips to manage your COPD symptoms during the summer? Reach out to us today!