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Avoiding Heat Stroke: A Priority When It Is Hot

By Tom Herrin

The thrill and excitement of being outdoors is still great, even if someone (like me) is well past the days when the end of school was their No. 1 goal.  Those school days when people looked out the window longing for the opportunity to go barefoot in the grass, throw a ball around, and stay out all day in the sun are behind most people.  That doesn’t mean that they never want to step out of their climate controlled environments again.  Many seek the opportunity to experience some kind of outdoor activity if only going for a walk in the park.  A heat stroke should never be part of that experience.

Hydration Is Key

Everyone is well aware that most living things are made up of water.  This is for good reason.  Among those is the need to manage body temperature.  It doesn’t take very much time in the direct sun and heat to quickly lose water.  It can be very dangerous in a big hurry.  People planning to be active in the heat need to begin drinking water early in the day and continue regularly throughout the day.  They should completely avoid alcohol and limit caffeine.  Sports drinks are good, but only as a supplement.  Water is essential.

Avoid Places With No Shade

Direct sun is fine if temperatures are cool or dry.  In the summertime, warmer temperatures are sometimes accompanied by high humidity.  This can be a dangerous combination.  Being raised in east-central Texas, I learned that humidity is something that can’t be ignored.  It can take a person down in seconds.  Being active in direct sun should take place in early mornings.  Even late afternoons in Texas provide no relief.  Temperatures are often in the 90s well into the evening.  It is essential to identify some shade to provide a break.  Slowly building up any tolerance to the sun and heat is the only way to survive.

Style Is Less Important Than Common Sense

While the classic look of white clothes that fit loosely may bring thoughts of Stanley Livingston in the African jungle, those light colored, lightweight, and loose-fitting clothes do have quite a bit of merit.  They can keep people cooler.  Dress is vitally important.  Clothes that fit tightly should be avoided.  Hats with wide brims offer good protection from the sun and sunshades and sunscreen are always advised.  The summertime can be a great time as long as you plan ahead to be as prepared as possible.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Englewood, N.J.

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