It’s that time of year again! The heat is intense and can be dangerous if you’re not careful!
In the last couple of weeks, it’s been hot enough where I live to cook my breakfast on the street! Last week on my Feeling Good Friday broadcast I talked about ways to beat the summer heat! I wanted to share this blog with everyone as a reminder of ways to take care of yourself this summer. These tips are vital to me as well as summer is one of my favorite times of the year because I love to be outside! Going on walks, working in the yard, barbecuing with friends, and hanging out by the pool are some of my favorite things to do in the summer. I know a lot of you share those same pastimes, and as I get older, I have to remind myself that if I’m going to be outside for a prolonged period of time then I have to take some precautions.
Living in the deep south it’s often the combination of heat and humidity that causes the most danger! Unfortunately, there are thousands of people every summer that suffer from heat exhaustion and many deaths are caused by the high temperatures. From 1999 to 2010 an average of 618 people died a year from heat related illness! This sickness and death, for the most part, is totally preventable! If we take proper precautions before getting out into the heat, I believe heat exhaustion and heat related deaths can be prevented. The key word here is prevention, and by following my recommendations, I believe everyone can lower the possibility of heat exhaustion and death!
Tip 1 – Hydration
The biggest factor contributing to heat related illness is hydration. You must drink water! Preferably mineralized water, which contains the electrolytes that your body is losing as you sweat in the summer heat. Whatever you do, DO NOT drink sodas in the heat because they cause further dehydration! The sugar rich “ade” drinks can help replace some of your electrolytes, but nothing beats electrolyte water! Your body is 60-70% water, so you NEED water to prevent heat exhaustion! If you do not have access to electrolyte water, then you can make your own by adding a small amount of sea salt or Himalayan salt to your water. You can also replace the loss of electrolytes with mineral rich foods such as chia seed, cantaloupe, oranges, bananas, and nuts like almonds and walnuts!
Tip 2 – Frequent Breaks
You must also take breaks, and frequent breaks at that! Your body needs to get out of the sun momentarily to cool down. If you have a place you can go inside with air conditioning to take your break, please do so, and remember to hydrate while you’re on your break! If you do not have a cool place where you can go inside, try to find an area of shade to relax in. If you are unfortunate enough to not have a place to go inside, I highly recommend as a precaution, you carry a cooler filled with ice and water with you. You should use that cooler only for cooling down.
Tip 3 – Spirit of Ammonia Water
There is a product you need to know about that you can add to the ice and water that will amplify it’s cooling effect dramatically. When my boys were growing up, we played soccer and baseball during the summer, often in extreme heat conditions. So before the games we would prepare our cooler of ice and water, add spirits of ammonia to it and a stack of white hand towels. When the boys would come off the field between innings or quarters, we would take the icy cold towels and wrap them around the back of their neck to cool them down quickly. I have no doubt that this technique protected all the kids that I coached over the years from having heat exhaustion! You can usually find spirits of ammonia at your local independent pharmacy. If you have any trouble finding it, contact me and I will try to help you find some.
Tip 4 – Cataplex F
Lastly to prevent possible heat exhaustion, I would highly recommend that you have the product Cataplex F on hand! This is the product that I’ve mentioned in a previous blog on sunburn prevention, and it can possibly prevent heat exhaustion as well. It is recommended that you take 7 tablets before getting out into the sun and continue taking 2 tablets every couple of hours that you are in the sun. Cataplex F works by helping your body’s tissues maintain the proper balance of calcium and vitamin D. With these dangerously high temperatures we are experiencing, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking the necessary precautions. Don’t let your summer be interrupted by a preventable trip to the hospital. However if you do feel that you are being overcome with heat exhaustion seek medical help immediately! Take the heat advisories seriously and continue to have a safe and happy summer!
I’ll see all of you tomorrow during the noon day hour for Feeling Good Friday on Facebook! Tune in to find out where I’ll be!
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