It’s getting hot! Take care of yourself

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HIGH TEMPERATURES: Working in the summer as a foreman for Granite. | Courtesy Photo

I worked in the construction industry for nine years before becoming a published author and journalist. I always dreaded the day that temperatures would creep into the triple digits, but eventually I found some things that help me cope with the heat that I would like to share with you. If you plan on working outside this summer, gardening in the backyard, or playing sports, you need to keep your body hydrated in order to fight off heat stroke and heat sickness, that means preparing 12 hours in advance. Stop drinking beer, or sugar drinks (Soda, juice, energy, or sports drinks) two hours before bed and try to drink at least 2 liters of water.


When you wake up in the morning and you long for that energy beverage or coffee know that the sugar and caffeine are instantly going to start dehydrating your system, so chase those drinks with twice the amount of water in order to keep your body fresh and hydrated. Contrary to popular belief, ICE COLD WATER IS NOT THE ANSWER! Room temperature or lightly chilled is, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to process it, if it is near your current body temperature. If you are starting to get light headed or dizzy, TAKE A BREAK! No need to be a hero, once you succumb to heat sickness it is easier and easier to get it in the future, so if your body is telling you that enough is enough, listen to it.


Buddy System: USE IT! If you are going to go out and work make sure someone knows what you are doing, keep handing each other water as the day goes on, and constantly make sure you are checking on each other. Dip a bandana in water and wrap it around your neck to simulate sweat and wear a nice shaded brim hat.


It is going to be a hot one this year so if your air conditioning on your house doesn’t work the city offers several “cool off points” for you to go to, leave all the windows open at your house, fans on to force circulation, and spend the day at the library.


Heat Stroke and Heat Sickness are two different things, you need to be able to recognize what is happening to you so you can prevent any serious illness. For Heat Sickness you may feel dizzy or faint, you will be sweating profusely, your skin will look pale and clammy, you could experience some nausea, or muscle cramps. If this is the case get some room temperature water and sit down in the shade until you feel better, cold fruit is also a good option. If you have a throbbing headache and have stopped sweating it is possible you are having a heat stroke, immediately stop what you are doing and call for help, heat stroke is very serious and you can potentially lose consciousness. In this summer heat it is better to be safe than sorry.

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