The hot summer weather is here to stay and now is the time to incorporate summer safety tips. The hottest parts of the day are between 10am and 4pm so use caution especially during those times. Whether you are working outside, exercising, or simply enjoying a weekend at the cottage with the family, it is important to practice safe heat measures to stay healthy.
Proper hydration is vital during hot and humid weather, but did you know that drinking water before, during and after being outside are all important steps? If you plan to exercise during hot weather, make sure to replenish electrolytes with juices or sport drinks. Plan a hydration schedule when you’re exposed to heat and humidity, where fluids are consumed 2 hours before, 15 minutes before, then every 15 minutes while outside. This amount may sound excessive however it is highly effective for hydration.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables:
Carry easy to transport fruits and vegetables on you during the hot weather which will not only provide water, but sugars and nutrients to replenish your body after sweating. Many people often feel dizzy in the heat or humidity and fruits and vegetables will help keep sugar levels balanced.
In the heat, you should be urinating every 2-4 hours if you are properly hydrated. Although it is not the most glamorous job, check the colour of your urine to ensure it is clear to pale yellow. If you notice a decrease in the output of urine or the colour is dark yellow and low volume there is a good chance you are dehydrated.
Stay Physically Fit:
By staying fit, your body will acclimatize better to a hot environment. Use gradual physical conditioning which can take up to 2 weeks to develop. Exercise at the cooler times of the day, like early mornings and evenings after 6pm.
Remember function over fashion to stay safe in the sun. Always wear a hat and one with a wide brim is ideal. Use an umbrella for shade and light coloured clothing to keep cool and out of the sun. Select clothing with breathable fabrics and wick-away sweat capabilities.
Move your Body:
If you are standing for a length of time in a hot environment, flex your leg muscles often while standing. Blood will pool in your lower legs in the heat and humidity and is often what leads to fainting.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine:
Unfortunately this can be one of the hardest areas for people to avoid in the summer when we are surrounded by friends and family. Both alcohol and caffeine will dehydrate the body therefore if you consume either beverage, make sure to drink an equal amount of water to the beverages you consume.
Unfortunately if you’ve suffered heat stroke in the past you are more sensitive to the effects of heath in the months following the illness. The good news is heat stroke does not have long-term problems and can always be prevented when the proper measures are put into place.
By Sarah Bamber