Fitness Facts: Heat-related illness
By Lily Limon
Family Nurse Practitioner, Canyon Health and Wellness Center
With summer temperatures rising, there are specific things we need to keep in mind here in the Valley of the Sun.
● Stay cool.
- Choose appropriate clothing that is lightweight and light-colored when participating in outdoor events or attending outdoor venues.
- During the hottest times of the day, stay in air-conditioned places such as the library or the mall if you do not have air conditioning.
- Make sure to pace your activity so you do not get overheated or over-exerted.
- Use sunscreen when outdoors. SPF of 15 or higher 30 minutes before outdoor activities is recommended. (“Broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” are best.)
- DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN OR ANIMALS IN A HOT CAR UNATTENDED!!! Temperatures can soar to more than 195-200 degrees in the summer within minutes.
● Keep hydrated.
- Drink plenty of water (half your body weight in ounces of water is the daily minimum recommendation, more if you are very active, and one 8-ounce drink may be an electrolyte replacement if active for optimal hydration.) Keep your pets hydrated as well and their paws covered. **
** — If they are on fluid restriction by your health care provider, discuss specifics before heat-related activities.
● Be informed.
- Watch local news forecasts to learn about extreme temperatures, and use the buddy system when participating in heat events. Check on those 65 years of age or older twice a day during heat waves.
● Know who is high risk.
- Infants and toddlers
- People age 65 and older
- Obese individuals
- People who work outdoors or use extreme exertion outdoors
- Anyone who is physically ill, has heart disease or high blood pressure, or takes medications for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.
The CDC has a great handout, “Beat the Heat,” and we at Canyon Health are here to help in the event you have questions or find yourself in need of medical assistance with a heat-related problem or illness. Follow the tips above to prevent any problems in this area, and have a happy summer.