In Great Health. An In Great Health eNewsletter.
Signup For Avera Newsletters
Avera Health Source
Find a Physician
Click here to donate.
Avera Medical Minute
Calendar of Events
Avera Jobs
Visit Avera
Cardiac Risk Assessment
Avera Health Plans

Thank you for subscribing to In Great Health, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with information to help you live a healthy lifestyle.  To learn more about what Avera can do to partner with you to improve your health, visit

To your health,

The Avera Staff


It's hot and it's humid - that's a dangerous combination, especially in the summertime. Be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illnesses to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Heat emergencies include heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps, and they all can be very serious if left untreated. Early symptoms of heat illness include thirst, excessive sweating, muscle cramps and fatigue. Later symptoms may include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea and vomiting.

Most heat illnesses are fairly easy to prevent. Stay hydrated when you're in the sun, and avoid drinking alcohol. Prolonged exercise in the heat can put you at a higher risk, so take breaks in a shady or air-conditioned place even during moderate exercise. If a person does have signs of heat illness, use water or damp cloths to cool the person down. Have the person slowly drink liquids while resting in a cool place.

Children and the elderly are especially at-risk from heat illness. If a person you're with loses consciousness from the heat, has seizures or shows signs of shock, call 911 immediately.

Share: FacebookMySpace Google MicrosoftYahoo! Bookmarks LinkedIn

Back to top^


Heart-rate calculators can be helpful tools to get the most out of workouts. Especially during the summer when there's a risk of heat illness if you're exercising outside, heart-rate calculators can help you be more aware of your body's abilities during exercise.

Heart-rate calculators help your heart work hard while still maintaining a safe heart rate. The American Heart Association recommends keeping your heart rate at 50 to 85 percent of its maximum during exercise. Recommended heart rates vary by age. For example, a 20-year-old should aim for 100 to 170 beats per minute, while a 50-year-old's goal should be 85 to 145 beats per minute.

During warm weather, it's best to keep your target heart rate a little lower to avoid heat illnesses. Your doctor can suggest a heart-rate guideline for you based on your age and medical history.

There are many options to monitor your heart rate during exercise. Some exercise machines have a monitor built in to the handles. Many sports supply stores also sell heart-rate monitors that strap to your wrist. Another option is to count your pulse in your wrist or neck for 10 seconds and multiply that by six, which will give you your heart rate for a minute.

Share: Facebook MySpaceGoogleMicrosoft Yahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn

Back to top^


Being physically active is more important for Americans than ever before. A recent study by the Trust for America's Health found that in 28 states in the United States, more than 25 percent of the inhabitants are obese. In 1991, not one state had an obesity rate of more than 20 percent. The connection between exercise and low obesity rates is clear, but how much exercise is enough to keep you healthy?

Most health care providers recommend both aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening, which can include weight lifting, gardening or calisthenics. Muscle strengthening is recommended twice a week.

Aerobic exercise includes activities such as running, bike riding or attending more active yoga classes. A good goal for aerobic exercise is at least 2.5 hours of moderate activity or 1.5 hours of vigorous activity a week. Increase that time, if possible, for maximum health benefits. It's also a good idea to spread your workouts among three or four separate sessions to prevent injury by allowing your body to recuperate.

Besides helping to control your weight, exercise reduces risk for heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. It also improves your fitness level so that being more physically active during daily activities is easier.

Share: Facebook MySpaceGoogleMicrosoft Yahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn

Back to top^

In Great Health online archive.

In Great Health is one in a series of Avera eNewsletters that gives readers valuable information about health and wellness at Avera facilities. It is not intended to replace personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from a physician.