Originally published in Kingsport Times News in Health and Wellness – July 25, 2012
Heat is a major killer in the USA, and those at the greatest risk are infants, children, seniors and people with chronic medical conditions. June had a record number of high temperatures across the country, and higher temperatures are predicted for July and August.
People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normalizes itself by sweating, but sometimes sweating is not enough. In such cases, body temperatures rise rapidly. Very high body temperatures may cause heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and can damage the brain or other organs.
Here are some simple ways to beat the heat from the Center for Disease Control:
- Find safe places. Air conditioning is the number 1 protective factor.
- Stay hydrated. Increase fluid intake, regardless of activity level.
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Avoid dark colors, which absorb heat and 100% cotton which can get drenched with sweat.
- Reschedule exercise. Move workout times indoors or into the shade. Limit exercise to early morning or late evening.
- Stay out of hot cars. Never leave anyone in a car, even if windows are cracked, for any period of time.