Don't Underestimate the Heat!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beware of heat-related illnesses, and take the necessary precautions to prevent them. Many people stay indoors during cold weather, but underestimate the dangers of prolonged exposure to heat.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States between 1979 and 1999. Heat illnesses range from minor to severe, and all are fairly easy to prevent.

Avoid drinks with large amounts of caffeine, alcohol, or sugar, as these can inhibit your body's cooling process. Whenever you're outdoors, drink plenty of water or electrolyte water before you get thirsty.

If you exercise outside, try to do it in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler. Wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing. Natural fibers such as cotton or bamboo allow your skin to breathe, and help you stay cooler.

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