Staying Healthy in the Heat

When temperatures soar into the upper 90s and 100s, heat becomes more than just an inconvenience. It can present a danger to you and your family. A high UV index can lead to painful sunburns, and dehydration in extreme heat can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Hot summer days are still ideal for outdoor games and picnics, but certain safety precautions should be taken to keep you and your loved ones healthy in the heat.

Watch Your Wardrobe

 

If you know you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, choose clothes that will help you stay comfortable and cool. Thin materials and light-colored fabrics will keep your temperature down. Tight-fitting clothes should be avoided, as they will trap heat and reduce the air circulation against your skin. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to any skin that you’ve left exposed to the sun.

Fill Up Your Thermos

 

Hydration is your number one defense against the heat. While drinking eight cups of water is the general recommendation, if you’re outside and sweating, you may need to drink even more. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to flip open your thermos. Once you are experiencing thirst, you are already dehydrated. Instead, make sure you consistently drink water throughout the day.

While there are many rehydration beverages to choose from other than water, avoid those that contain alcohol, caffeine, or sugar since these could actually harm more than help in extreme heat.

Choose Your Activities Carefully

 

Yes, you need to exercise—but in extreme heat, outdoor exercises should be kept at a slower pace. Try to save vigorous training for an air-conditioned gym. If you begin experiencing dizziness or fatigue, find a cool place to rest immediately.

Order a Salad

 

High-protein foods can actually increase your body temperature, making summer the perfect season to start your diet. Light foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, are not only fresh and flavorful in the summer months, but they will also help keep your body cool, comfortable, and healthy.

 

For any questions about healthcare services at Denton Regional Medical Center, or to find a physician, please visit our website or contact us online.

 

Sources:

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness (CDC)

Tips for Staying Healthy in the Heat (Champions for Health)

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