Friday, July 25, 2008

Watch the Heat

When temperatures soar, it is important to take some precautions. Sometimes we forget that with summer fun comes health risks in the heat. Here are some tips for being out in the sun:
  • Stay well-hydrated. That means, drink a lot of water. Don't replace water with coffee, Gatorade, soda pop and other sugary drinks or juices. Your body needs water, not more carbohydrates, caffeine, and chemicals.
  • Limit sun exposure to less than 15 minutes in extreme heat.
  • If you must be out for longer periods than 15 minutes, take breaks by seeking shade as often as possible. Wear a hat, long sleeves, and long pants. It may seem too hot to wear such articles, but native peoples of desert regions wear long robes and turbans over their bodies and on their heads for a reason. Loose, light-colored clothing is best.
  • Avoid sunscreen unless you are going to be out for more than 30 minutes. If you must use sunscreen, use brands like Keys Soap Solar Sunblock, California Baby, and Badger. Use great caution in the brand of sunscreen you use; your skin absorbs 100% of what you put on it, and most sunscreens are toxic to your body in many ways. The three sunscreens listed in this article are some of the most safe products on the market, as reviewed by Cosmetics Database. Visit this web site for the most up-to-date information about safe sunscreen products. If you use unsafe brands, you are doing your body more harm than good.
  • Protect your eyes with proper UVA, UVB, and UVC eye protection. Do not wear cheap eye -wear or you canl risk damaging your eyes.
  • Even though summer heat can cause appetites to be smaller, be certain to eat more often and smaller amounts. Your body needs fuel as well as liquid to function in extreme conditions such as high heat - so give it the extra nutrition it needs to stay well. Avoid eating packaged, processed foods (which are not only bad for your health but expensive as well). Instead, take a cooler and pack it with plenty of fresh vegetables, and fruits, raw nuts, raw cheeses, and water.
  • If you are going to be in regular hot weather each day, make sure you are getting enough sleep. If you are not sleeping enough at night, allow for an hour or so nap each day. Your body needs extra sleep to make up for resources used while sustaining itself in the heat.
  • Try to avoid the sun during mid-day at its peak, if possible.
  • If you become dizzy, tired, confused, start to become short of breath, or start to feel ill while you are out in the sun, get into the shade or indoors immediately and rest. Sip cool water while you are resting to restore your hydration.
  • Monitor yourself and others at risk such as children, those with compromised health, and the elderly. You may find yourself having to care for someone who has suffered heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

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