Summer Health Tips
It’s that time of year again. That time that we affectionately refer to as the “dog days” of summer.
With the country experiencing record highs from coast to coast, it’s important to be mindful of preventative strategies to help reduce the risk of heat-related illness. Below we offer a few strategies to get you through August and have you welcoming those cool autumn breezes in September & October.
To start, there are three typical symptoms of heat-related illness.
Heat cramps: Also known as "that charley horse feeling you get in your muscles." Heat cramps typically come from dehydration.
Heat exhaustion: Also typically caused by dehydration and usually the result of your body not being able to sweat enough to cool itself down. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and blurry vision.
Heat stroke: The most extreme symptom and a very dangerous medical condition. Many times, heat stroke is accompanied by confusion, delirium, and a possible loss of consciousness or a seizure.
The good news, is that our bodies are well-equipped to beat the heat, and there are simple steps you can take to avoid having heat-related illnesses.
The most important action to take is hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! And not with sodas or juice. You need to drink water. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, you should strive for 8 glasses of water a day.
Avoid coffee. This one is tough, but coffee can be dehydrating. So if you consume coffee, make sure you up your intake of water as well.
EAT! The heat can suppress your hunger and cause you not to eat. But eating is important to fuel your body against the heat.
Wear loose fitting and light colored clothing. Sorry skinny jeans, it’s all about the baggy linens in August.
Avoid over-exertion during peak hours of the day. Try to schedule your workouts, or heavy physical labor, for the mornings and afternoons when the sun is less strong. Maybe take a page from the Spanish, and try an afternoon siesta during peak hours.