How to Prevent Heat Stroke and Exhaustion

With temperature levels rising globally, it is important to be mindful of both heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Anyone who has been outside this summer will tell you, temperatures are rising around the world. More than 100 million Americans are feeling the heat, and recently in the UK, it got so hot that the roads started melting. It’s no secret that global warming is to blame, and we can all do our small part to try and mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change. However, we also need to be aware of both heat stroke, and heat exhaustion as it becomes a more prevalent threat to our health.

Extreme heat is so dangerous because it can cause health issues like severe dehydration, heat stroke, and death.

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses excess amounts of water and salt, typically from sweating. 

READ MORE: Five Best Sports for Hot Weather

Heat stroke is a serious medical issue that occurs when your body’s ability to maintain a core temperature fails, and you experience symptoms like cramping, swelling, exhaustion, and fainting.

During extreme heat, it is obviously important to drink plenty of water, but you should also be mindful of your exercise routines, as well as time spent outdoors. If you know you need to work outside, plan to do so during cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or evening. Here are several other ways you can prevent heat stroke and exhaustion:

Wear light-colors and loose-fitting clothing.

Drink plenty of water.

Stay in the shade as much as possible.

Eat lighter meals and avoid alcohol when possible.

Seek out air conditioning wherever you can find it.

Wear sunscreen.

Ration your time spent outdoors.

All of this may seem like common knowledge, but the most important thing is to just remember that heat stroke and exhaustion are real threats. Most people don’t even think about that when they are spending long hours outdoors, and by the time it occurs to them it is too late.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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