Don’t let dehydration or heat stroke put you on the losing team. If you’re playing or working outdoors be sure to:
- Drink water before and during outdoor exercise. Staying hydrated will help you maintain a normal body temp. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
- Wear loose and lightweight clothing. Tight clothes will increase your body temperature and could restrict circulation.
- Protect against sunburn. If you’re sunburned, your body isn’t able to adequately regulate your temperature. So slather on the sunscreen, and don’t forget the hat and sunglasses.
- Build up a tolerance. If you’re not accustomed to being in the heat, start with 10- or 15- minute sessions until you start to feel more comfortable.
- Avoid the hottest parts of the day. Avoid outdoor sports between 10 am to 4 pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
- Take frequent breaks. Stand in the shade, grab a drink, and cool down regularly.
- Check for drug interactions. Certain medications can compromise your body’s ability to cool itself down. Read up on your meds to find out. This is especially important for older adults.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it could be heat exhaustion, which can be serious:
- Dark-colored urine (signals dehydration)
- Muscle cramps excessive sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Pale skin
If you're experiencing vomiting, seizures or unconsciousness, call 911 or go to your closest Emergency Room.