Summer heatwave survival guide
We're in the midst of yet another heatwave in New Jersey, but it's also the dog days of summer so more of these hot and humid days are on the horizon. We have some tips on how to keep cool.
Whether you have to to be out in heat to work or want to be to go for a run or head to the beach, Dr. Robert Sweeney, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, cautions you to take it easy.
"Drink plenty of fluids and if you're starting to feel overheated, weak, light headed or dizzy sit down and take a break and let the heat pass," Sweeney said. "Then it's probably best not to resume the exercise or work even for the later part of the day."
If you are a runner, he suggests heading out early in the morning when it's a bit cooler outside.
The more time you spend outdoors in the heat, the quicker your body is likely to dehydrate.
Sweeney says the color of your urine is a good indicator of how hydrated your body is.
If it's clear or light yellow, you're good, but if not it's time to drink more water.
"As the urine gets darker in color and starts getting to become a dark yellow or amber color, it's a signal that people should probably be drinking more liquid," Sweeney said.
He says that'll help make sure your body has enough liquid to flush the toxins out of your body.
Is there anything you can do to keep from falling ill in the heat whether your out there exercising or working?
"If you know the heat's coming on gradually you can get acclimated to it by adjusting your workout routine and by adjusting your work routine," Sweeney said. "You can hydrate up a little bit but there are some people who stay in a chronic state of low hydration because they don't like to drink a lot of fluids."
While preparing for the heat is critical as is drinking plenty of fluids to hydrate when you're outside, there are also signs to look out for in terms of heat related illnesses.
"Heat stress tends to be cumulative meaning that as the heatwave goes on, the stress gets higher and higher," Sweeney said. "People may be mildly dehydrated and not know it and then the next day it gets a little worse."
If you're outside and not feeling right, there's also a possibility of getting heat exhaustion or heat stroke, but how do you know the difference between the two?
Says with heat exhaustion people mostly feel weak or tired and may experience some aching and cramping and the feeling that they may faint.
Heat stroke is a more severe form of heat exhaustion.
"Heat stroke is usually much more extreme where we see people unconscious or delirious and that it's actually a critical illness," Sweeney said.
He says the best way to prevent that is knowing the signs of heat exhaustion and stopping whatever you're doing before things get worse.
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