This summer has been a hot one and is not over yet! As record temperatures sweep across the United States many folks are afraid to go outside, and for a good reason. The heat presents a serious risk for older people and people with certain medical conditions. For the majority of young and active people, the heat wave doesn’t pose as serious of a threat. or so we think.
The heat might not seem like such a big deal with we are simply walking around but when you are working outdoors or exercising in this heat, it is important to be careful and take some precautions. If you have a gym membership and exercise indoors with the air conditioner running you probably have nothing to fear. If you are not and are instead indulging in the summer sun, you should follow some of these steps and protect yourself from heat-related issues.
Know and look out for signs of:
- Muscle cramps
- Dark-colored urine
- Profuse weight sweating
- Pale skin
- Rapid heartbeat
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, get out of the sun and get some rest immediately. Call a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve within half an hour.
Eat and stay hydrated– of course you need to drink water. Drinking water is only part of the equation. During hot conditions, you sweat more, which means you lose water as well as electrolytes. Loss of electrolytes is one of the major contributing factors of heat-related illness.
Wear Sunscreen– Sunburns decrease your body’s ability to cool itself down, so lather up.
Avoid the midday sun– Stay safe by exercising in the morning or evening, not during the hottest part of the day.
Wear lightweight and light colored clothing– Light colors reflect the sun, instead of dark colors which will absorb the heat.
Stay away from caffeine and alcohol– Both substances increase your chance of serious dehydration.