When the Grand Rapids weather heats up, the danger rises, too. When you become too hot, your body gets sick or unable 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. It is important that you know the right ways to deal with hot weather. You can stay cool and healthy no matter how hot the weather gets if you follow these tips.
1. Stay Hydrated
To avoid heat-related illnesses, you have to be properly hydrated. The human body is capable of cooling itself through sweating. As external temperature rises, your body sweats more to cool itself down. This can cause you to become dehydrated. Drinking water regularly throughout the day, and not only when you feel thirsty, is the simplest way to stay hydrated. The more physical activities you do in hot weather, the more electrolytes your body loses through sweat. You can look for sports drinks that are not loaded with sugar to help you avoid dehydration and muscle cramps.
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. If possible, stay indoors in an air-conditioned room for most of the day. Plan your outdoor 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
If you need to go outdoors during the day, avoid direct sunlight as much as you can. The shade of a tree or a building are some areas where you can do your activities. This will save you from sunburn and other heat-related illnesses. Use sunscreen and wear a hat, as well, when moving around in the sun. A solar umbrella is also helpful for shading yourself. These umbrellas may help block harmful UV rays and help you stay cool.
4. Dress for Comfort
It is important to adjust your clothing choices so you can stay comfortable in hot weather. Go for loose, lightweight, breathable fabrics. Tight-fitting or heavy materials will only trap heat and put you at risk for unhealthy body temperatures. Long sleeves and pants are great choices for maximum sun protection.
5. Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine
Not all drinks can help you keep hydrated. Drinks with alcohol and caffeine content can cause dehydration. These substances usually cause you to urinate more, making your body lose more liquids. Alcohol is especially dangerous because it can disrupt your body’s ability to absorb the water you drink.
6. Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses
Even after following all these tips, you might notice the effects of hot weather anyway. Some signs of heat-related illness are dizziness, nausea, or a painful headache. If these symptoms are present, as well as having cold, clammy skin, you might be experiencing heat exhaustion. If your symptoms include a high fever, red, hot skin, and loss of consciousness, your might have heatstroke which is even more serious. Get emergency medical help right away if you or anyone with you is experiencing these symptoms.
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