With summer in full swing and it’s also the hottest season in most of the regions across the globe. With millions of people needing to go outside whether, for a job or any other reason, they have to face the tormenting sun. It’s important to make sure you’re staying safe and not exposed to high temperatures.
Heat stress occurs when the body gets dehydrated due to exhaustion and becomes unable to cope with the excessive heat. Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature rises to dangerous levels, and if left untreated, it can be fatal within minutes.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent heat stress and heat stroke this summer and stay safe outdoors. Remember heat stroke is more detrimental as it’s the enervated form of heat stress.
1) Drink Plenty of Water and Eat Fruits with High Water Content
In order to prevent heat stroke and heat stress, you should drink plenty of water. It is recommended that you drink eight glasses of water a day in summer even though it is not cast in stone. The amount is higher than usual because of heat exposure, during which your body sweats more due to physical activity.
In addition, you can take more fruits with high water content such as melon, watermelon, mangoes, banana, orange, pear, cantaloupe, kiwi fruit, etc. These fruits contain a lot of fluid that help prevent dehydration and keep our bodies cool under hot weather. Eating fruits will keep your body hydrated as well as keep you away from heat stroke symptoms such as cramps, dizziness, weakness, and headache. Plus you get lots of vitamins from fruits too.
Moreover, eating veggies like cucumber also works as a cooling agent and stops your body’s temperature to go too high. It also helps to remove excess salt from your body, which can debilitate dehydration as and keeps your body fresh. Adding fruit juices and lemon water can also be helpful to maintain hydration levels.
2) Exercise Routine and Timings
It is imperative to have a flexible workout routine, especially when dealing with unrelenting hot weather. Get up and get moving early in cooler temperatures, before it’s hot out, or tries to schedule your workout session in the evening or at midnight when the temperature goes down and is less severe.
Make sure to take more breaks throughout your workout, remember that recovery time is important, so take advantage of those breaks and take more rest than usual, and also cool down once you’re done with the workout.
If you feel fatigued in the middle of the workout session and can’t do all that during your usual working hours then not push further as doing this may fatigue you, even more. Keep an extra water bottle with yourself during the gym session, so you have some on hand when things get hot and exhausting.
Moreover, when it comes to the intensity of the workout, keep it to a low or moderate level of intensity and avoid high-intensity training as high-intensity workouts can easily exhaust you faster and dehydrate your body within no time which makes your body prone to heat stress and if exacerbated can lead to heat stroke.
3) Foods What To Eat And What To Avoid
Food is one of our main sources of energy and heat, and when we’re not careful about what we put in our bodies, it may lead to heat stress. It’s important to avoid foods that may produce excess body heat or act as diuretics (dehydrating you).
Stay away from fried foods, especially deep-fried foods, spicy dishes, avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption. Further, eat small meals instead of large ones throughout the day and consume more fruits and veggies.
Avoiding heat stroke requires staying hydrated and consuming foods high in electrolytes like spinach or broccoli, you can also add it up along with other veggies in the green salad.
When it’s hot outside, your body loses both water and electrolytes through sweat. If you can’t keep liquids up, try eating foods that are high in salts like crackers and pretzels to replace lost electrolytes. Remember you can take foods with high salt contents as it can balance up your electrolytes but once again over dozing can further deplete water from your body.
Other Necessary steps
There are other steps you can take beyond hydration to prevent heat stroke or heat stress. If you’re traveling and are at the mercy of the scorching sun, keep your skin and exposed areas covered (like arms, neck, etc.). Be sure to wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing; they help reflect heat away from your body
If you find yourself with heat stroke symptoms such as confusion, loss of consciousness, nausea, or vomiting, then lie down on something comfortable; take off your clothes (or remove unnecessary layers) because it will help keep you cool. Then seek medical attention immediately.
If your body starts to overheat, try wetting a towel and wrapping it around your neck or head. Also, limit outdoor activity when it’s extremely hot out. If you live in a warm climate or are going somewhere warm, sit under shade like using an umbrella or take advantage of air conditioning if available.
Whenever you are outside in extreme heat, remember these three tips: Stay hydrated, exercise smartly and don’t overtrain, stick to the foods that help fight heat stress, and avoid foods that do the opposite. Once again drink lots of water to keep your hydration in check. And if your schedule requires you to be outdoors is necessary only then to go outside, and don’t push it—if it’s too hot out.
You may use things like a wet towel or a wet cloth as well to fight off the heat. Above all else, take care of yourself: If you’re experiencing dizziness or have trouble breathing or moving slowly while walking or other heat stroke symptoms then seek a medical emergency or a doctor right away.