Wellness Tips

Abrazo: Cool tips for coping with summer heat

Summer heat has arrived that can contribute to dangerous conditions for your health.

Dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are just a few of the things to be aware of, according to the healthcare professionals at Abrazo Health.

With sky-high temperatures, staying hydrated is important whether you’re just sitting in the sun, exercising for recreation or playing sports. If dehydration sets in, you may start to feel tired and dizzy, have muscle cramps or lose consciousness.

If you’re active outdoors, try to get outside during the cooler morning hours. This is particularly important for children as well as older adults who are most severely affected by heat-related illnesses.

Here are some tips to stay ahead of your hydration needs, especially for those who have an active lifestyle:

• Before exercise: Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water within 2 to 3 hours:

• During warm-up: Drink 8 ounces of water within 20 to 30 minutes;

• During exercise: Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes;

• After exercise: Drink 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes.

Staying cool this summer can be helped in several other ways. Here are some ideas to beat the summer heat.

• Wear natural fabrics, such as a loose-fitting, white cotton or linen shirt. Dark fabrics absorb light more than lighter ones.

• Replace the salt lost from excessive sweating with lemon water. One squeezed lemon provides 21% of a person’s daily required dose of vitamin C. The acid in lemons can damage your teeth so don’t forget to use a straw.

• Remember that foods rich in fat and protein take longer for your body to digest and therefore require additional metabolic heat. Go for salads to help you feel light and hydrated.

• Use frozen water bottles to cool down your pulse points including behind your ear, at the bottom of your throat, on your wrist, inside your elbow and behind your knee.

• Apply a moisturizer that contains aloe vera on sunburned skin. Sunburns slow the skin’s ability to cool itself off.

• Invest in room-darkening curtains to help keep the light and heat out more efficiently.

• Avoid using heat-producing appliances such as the dryer or oven during peak hours.

• Stay indoors or in an air-conditioned area as much as possible. Spending only two hours in an air-conditioned space can help reduce your risk of heat stroke.

If you or someone you know is suffering from heat stroke or dehydration, go to the nearest hospital or call 911. Please do not delay care.

For more information on Abrazo Health ER locations, visit AbrazoHealth.com/locations.

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