Hot Wake Forest weather means higher danger. Too much heat can make you sick and make it very hard for your body to cool down properly. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 700 people die from heat-related causes in the United States each year. To prepare for the coming hot weather, it is important to be armed with the knowledge of what to do. You can stay cool with these tips no matter how hot the weather gets.
1. Stay Hydrated
To avoid heat-related illnesses, you have to be properly hydrated. Our bodies are equipped with a natural cooling mechanism — sweating! As external temperature rises, your body sweats more to cool itself down. Too much of this can lead to dehydration. Drinking water throughout the day, and not just when you become thirsty, will help to keep your body hydrated. If you will be physically active in hot weather, make sure you are replacing the electrolytes your body loses when sweating. Sports drinks –choose those that are not laden with sugar– are good for keeping dehydration and muscle cramps at bay.
2. Limit Activities to Early Morning and Late Evening
Schedule your spring and summer outdoor activities so that you avoid the hottest part of the day as much as possible. Stay indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned room, if you can. Should you need to go outside, plan your activities for early morning or late evening. Avoiding the extreme heat of the day keeps your body temperature from rising to unhealthy levels.
3. Stay Out of the Sun
Avoid staying under direct sunlight if you really need to go outdoors in the daytime. If possible, do your activities in the shade of a tree or building. This will save you from sunburn and other heat-related illnesses. When moving around in the sun, use sunscreen and wear a hat for protection. You can also get yourself a solar umbrella to shade yourself. Umbrellas like these are designed to block harmful UV rays as well as keep you stay cool.
4. Dress for Comfort
You also have to consider adjusting your clothing choices to help you stay cool when the hot weather arrives. Choose lightweight, loose, breathable fabrics. Tight-fitting or heavy materials will only trap heat and put you at risk for unhealthy body temperatures. If you want maximum sun protection, you can wear long sleeves and pants as well.
5. Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine
Some drinks are not designed to hydrate. Drinks with alcohol and caffeine content can cause dehydration. The reason for this is that the substances in these drinks cause you to urinate more, thus relieving your body of much-needed liquids. You have to be extra careful with alcohol as it can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the water.
6. Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses
Even after following all these tips, you might notice the effects of hot weather anyway. Dizziness, nausea, or a painful headache are all signs of heat-related illnesses. If these symptoms are present, as well as having cold, clammy skin, you might be experiencing heat exhaustion. Even more serious is heatstroke, with symptoms like a high fever, red, hot skin, and loss of consciousness. If these symptoms are present, call for emergency medical help right away.
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