Hot Orlando weather means higher danger. When the weather is too hot, you can become sick as the weather makes it impossible for your body 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. You must know the right things to do to prepare for the oncoming hot weather. These six tips can help you stay cool and healthy in the hot weather.
1. Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration is important if you want to avoid heat-related illnesses. Our bodies are equipped with a natural cooling mechanism — sweating! Your body sweats more to cool itself down during hot weather. Too much of this can lead to dehydration. Drinking water throughout the day, and not just when you become thirsty, will help to keep your body hydrated. If you are physically active in hot weather, chances are your body is also losing electrolytes when you sweat. Sports drinks –choose those that are not laden with sugar– are good for keeping dehydration and muscle cramps at bay.
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. Staying indoors, especially in an air-conditioned room, is also good. Outdoor activities are also best held in the 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
Should you need to go outdoors during the day, avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. Do your activities in the shade or a tree or building if you can. Not only will you save yourself from sunburn but heat-related illnesses as well. If you will be moving around in the sun, make sure you apply sunscreen and wear a hat. 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 that you adjust your clothing choices when the weather turns hot so you can be comfortable throughout the day. Loose-fitting, lightweight, breathable fabrics are ideal for hot weather. Tight-fitting or heavy materials will only trap heat and put you at risk for unhealthy body temperatures. Long sleeves and pants are also helpful for maximum sun protection.
5. Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine
Be mindful that not all drinks are designed to hydrate. Some drinks, usually those that contain alcohol or caffeine can lead to dehydration instead. These substances may cause you to urinate more often, causing your body to lose a lot of needed liquids. Alcohol, especially, has been shown to interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the water you intake.
6. Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses
At times you might still feel the effects of hot weather. Dizziness, nausea, or a painful headache are all signs of heat-related illnesses. You may have heat exhaustion if you have all these symptoms, plus cold, clammy skin. Even more serious is heatstroke, with symptoms like a high fever, red, hot skin, and loss of consciousness. If these symptoms are present, call for emergency medical help right away.
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