Heat illness is a major concern in the warmer months. Our youth and elderly are especially at risk. Below are a few tips to help prevent heat-related illnesses/injuries as the weather gets warmer.
1. Stay hydrated with water. Drink half your weight in kilograms per day, at least. You can usually accomplish this by drinking a glass (8 oz) of water when you first wake up, a glass with every meal and a glass before going to bed.
2. Stay in the shade as much as possible. Direct sunlight for extended periods of time causes the body to overheat. After a period of time, the body can no longer sweat enough to keep your body temperature regulated. This is when heat illness/injury occurs.
3. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables have large amounts of water and electrolytes needed to keep you hydrated properly.
4. Protect your skin. One of the major ways we regulate body temperature is by sweating. If the skin is damaged, sweating may be diminished. Thus, causing you to be at higher risk of overheating.
5. Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Loose fitting/lightweight clothes (linen) allow for better ventilation, aiding the body in temperature regulation. Bright/light colored clothes reflect sunlight, helping deflect some of the heat rays as well.
6. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated products. Both alcohol and caffeine can cause dehydration, which can increase your risk of heat illness/injury when the temperatures are elevated. They are definitely, not recommended if you are going to be in the sun for an extended period of time.
Enjoy the warmer summer months sitting in the shade, drinking water, eating fresh fruits and veggies in loose light colored clothes, while listening to your favorite music or reading a good book.
Dr. Kathleen E. Sharp
The Sharp Doc
Eat to fuel, move to strengthen, sleep to revive!