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Summer Is Good for the Soul - And the Heart!

Summertime living is easy - but for your heart, the warmest season of the year can be a challenge. As the thermometer heats up, keep these tips in mind for heart-healthy living this summer.

Hydrate with healthy drinks. While a cold soda sounds refreshing when the sun is shining, soda can be dehydrating. Consider healthier options such as lemon water, unsweetened iced tea, fruit smoothies and non-alcoholic versions of your favorite drinks.

Sweat under the sun. It only takes 30 minutes a day to lower your blood pressure. With the long days, hit the outdoors for hiking, swimming, tennis or golf. When the heat is unbearable, opt for indoor activities like the treadmill or yoga.

Refresh your diet with fresh produce. Many fruits and vegetables - from bell peppers and blueberries to strawberries and sugar snap peas - are in season during the summer, meaning they're often more fresh and affordable than at other times of year. Incorporate these healthy foods into summer recipes.

Tame travel-related stress. High levels of stress can lead to temporary but dramatic increases in blood pressure. Traveling often triggers stress, particularly when summer storms delay or cancel flights or your day at the lake is a washout. Find ways to manage this stress - like meditation or laughter!