During excessive heat, your body cools itself by letting heat escape through your skin and by evaporating sweat. If your body does not cool properly, you might suffer from a heat-related illness – heat exhaustion or worse, heat stroke.
Anyone can be susceptible to excessive heat. Those at greatest risk are children under 4 years of age and adults over 65, homeless people, outdoor workers, overweight people, and people on certain medications. Heat related illness may be serious or even deadly if unattended.
To stay healthy during the summer and excessive heat is easier of you take precautions to protect yourself by staying hydrated and limiting your exposure to the heat. Here are some simple tips:
Drink room temperature water – Believe it or not, drinking cold water may not be helpful. The body has to heat up in order to metabolize the cold water entering the body. Notice: most cultures do NOT use ice as it negatively affects digestion.
Replenish electrolytes – Minerals such as sodium, magnesium, chloride and potassium are lost through excretion and perspiration as the body copes with excessive heat. Instead of a soft drink that may contain artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners; try adding unrefined sea salt and sugar free pomegranate juice, which is high in potassium, to your purified water.
Dress for the weather – We advise lightweight, light colored clothing. Light colors will reflect some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or use an umbrella. Always apply sunscreen to exposed skin.
Eat foods that are easy to digest – Eat smaller meals and avoid greasy and processed foods. A healthy breakfast, protein shake meal replacement, and cooling salad greens may be a good choice during high temperatures.
Slow down – Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest times of the day. If you must do strenuous work, do it during the coolest parts of the day – usually between 4:00am and 7:00am. Stay indoors when possible.
Take regular breaks when engaged in physical activity on hot days – Take a time-out and find a cool place. If you, or someone else, are showing symptoms of heat-related illness, stop and find a cool place to recover.
When the heat sets in, watch for the following symptoms and act quickly:
Thirst – by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Heat cramps – Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. They typically occur the abdominal and/or leg muscles.
Heat exhaustion – Fluid loss causes blood flow to decrease in the vital organs, resulting in a form of shock. Sweat does not evaporate as it should. Symptoms to look for are cool, moist, pale skin, flushed or red skin, heavy sweating, headache, or nausea/vomiting. The body temperature may seems normal.
Heat stroke – Heat stroke is life-threatening! During heat stroke, your body’s temperature control system is not working. It cannot cool itself. High body temperatures can rise so high that brain damage is caused and may result in death if the body is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red, dry skin, changes of consciousness, week and rapid pulse, and shallow breathing. The body temperature can be very high – as high as 105 degrees.
By taking some simple precautions, you can ensure your safety and the safety of loved ones and those around you!
If you are looking for a healthy way to replenish your electrolytes – try Bright Path Wellness’ recommended product – Electrolyte Synergy by Design for Health