Are you aware of How The Heat Will Affect Your Body? How will you protect your family and yourself during the hotter times of the season?
Do you know How The Heat Will Affect Your Body when you ride? Especially in the hotter times of the year? In hot dry climates? Stay alert to how your body is handling the heat.
Fortunately, our bodies have a natural way of cooling us down. Sweating is natural, normal, and a sign your body is working as it should.
When we sweat too much, we will get in trouble quickly if we can’t replace the fluid we lose. There is a possibility that you may experience heat exhaustion.
If you are subject to getting too hot while outside, you are probably also at risk for sunburn. Sunburn will complicate this cooling down that your body needs to do.
This makes wearing sun blocking clothing a very important part of preventing heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or sunstroke. Sweating is usually not dangerous, but if you have sunburn, your body can’t cool itself as efficiently as it does with healthy skin.
This can allow your internal body heat can get beyond the safe limits that go with your body’s safety settings.
When you get too hot, and can’t cool enough you will experience some physical discomforts that can affect how you can navigate if you are outdoors. Getting to shade, and drinking cool water to get your internal temperature down is important.
Outside activities can be dangerous if you get too hot.
How You Can Avoid Heat Exhaustion?
What causes heat exhaustion? It is important to know what is happening and why. Stay aware of how your body is responding externally, as well as internally.
If you are in a situation that can lead to heat exhaustion, it is important to stay aware of what is happening internally. Be aware if you start excessive sweating.
When you are sweating, you need to replace the lost fluids with water. Your body can usually take care of things if you take care of your body.
Generally sweating isn’t dangerous. At least as long as you drink enough fluids to replace what you are losing in sweat. If the fluids aren’t replaced, or you have sunburn, you won’t be able to cool as quickly as you should.
Your body has 2 things to deal with now if you are overheated and you get sunburn. There aren’t enough fluids to cool your inner body, and you have sunburn to deal with. Normally this involves activity and you have added a third problem, exhaustion.
Things are getting dangerous. This is why you need to know more about how the heat will affect your body.
Fluids And Heat Exhaustion
Fluids are important for your body to be able to cool itself.
Allowing yourself to sunburn adds more heat for your body to try to cool. Your body needs more fluids when you are sweating to replace the fluid lost in sweat. Sunburn on your skin makes your internal system call for even more fluids to be able to handle all the hot areas it now has to cool.
Wearing a layer of lightweight clothing that can block the sun off your body and keep you from getting sunburn is one way to stay safer.
When your body overheats (gets too hot) and is not able to cool down, you will soon find yourself with heat exhaustion. This is the first step toward the more dangerous heat stroke.
If you are exercising or engaging in any physical activity, you should stay aware of how your body is adjusting to the demands you are making on it.
Then when you add hot, humid weather you are increasing your risk.
Be mindful that during physical activity, your body loses fluids through sweat. If you don’t replace those fluids by drinking enough water or other liquids, you can easily become dehydrated.
Dehydration alone can put you at risk for heat exhaustion, even without the exertion of exercise or work.
Your body needs enough water to keep your blood circulating and nourish the various systems that work together for life.
Without enough fluids, your blood will get sluggish. because there is a depletion of fluids. Your blood veins constrict and don’t allow proper blood flow. With your blood not having enough fluids to be the right consistency to flow through your veins anyhow.
A dried-up vein and sluggish blood will assure improper flow to the parts of your body needing cooling. Never mind the sunburn needing to be cooled. Heat exhaustion can set in.
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms
The symptoms that warn you that you are getting in trouble are:
- Muscle cramps
Treatment of these symptoms includes moving out of the heat. Resting and drinking fluids. It is important to rest, to allow your body to use the fluids properly to enable cooling from the inside. Cool showers, or even cool damp cloths on your forehead, or back of your neck can help regulate your body’s temperature.
Running cool water on your feet, and splashing cool water on your head and face are also helpful.
Remember, your body is working in less than ideal conditions. All systems are on go, but unless enough fluids are being taken in, there just isn’t enough to fill all the calls your internal system is receiving.
Untreated heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke.
Heatstroke can be a dangerous life-threatening condition. Age, and general health are among the factors affecting your risk for heatstroke. Your medications? Check out the link below for more info nation from the FDA.
- Antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, levofloxacin, ofloxacin, tetracycline, trimethoprim)
- Antifungals (flucytosine, griseofulvin, voriconazole)
- Antihistamines (cetirizine, diphenhydramine, loratadine, promethazine, cyproheptadine)
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs (simvastatin, atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin)
- Diuretics (thiazide diuretics: hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, chlorothiazide.; other diuretics: furosemide and triamterene)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, piroxicam, ketoprofen)
- Oral contraceptives and estrogens
- Phenothiazines (tranquilizers, anti-emetics: examples, chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, promethazine, thioridazine, prochlorperazine)
- Psoralens (methoxsalen, trioxsalen)
- Retinoids (acitretin, isotretinoin)
- Sulfonamides (acetazolamide, sulfadiazine, sulfamethizole, sulfamethoxazole, sulfapyridine, sulfasalazine, sulfisoxazole)
- Sulfonylureas for type 2 diabetes (glipizide, glyburide)
- Alpha-hydroxy acids in cosmetics
Heat Exhaustion May Become A Heat Stroke If Untreated
If left untreated, a heat exhaustion condition can quickly turn into a more serious heatstroke.
If you are involved in physical activity and your body is exposed to high temperatures as in hot weather or under very humid conditions. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. It may be warning you.
Are you sweating more than is usual for you? Heavy sweating can lead to recessive loss of water and electrolytes. If this fluid is not replaced by drinking more water, you will find yourself becoming dehydrated.
That means less blood is able to return to your heart. This puts your heart less able to supply blood to your muscles and organs to keep your body going.
Those at risk are people who are:
- very young or older
- alcoholics who are at great because of the dehydration most alcoholics bodies are working under
- overweight or obese
- already dealing with high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease
- working in a hot environment
- those who have an active lifestyle like runners, bike riders, and hikers
Choosing a sun blocking hat and your sunglasses. Your UPF shirt that fits loosely. Wearing long pants that are lightweight and breathable should be your first move to stay safe in the sun. Sunscreen is also important, but due to the oils in the formula will make you feel warmer.
Using clothing on more of your body, and needing less sunscreen can help you stay cooler.
Do You know The Symptoms Of Heat Exhaustion?
One of the reasons heat exhaustion is so dangerous is that it can present itself in many ways. Not only are there several symptoms, but these signs and symptoms may also develop gradually or they can occur suddenly. This often catches the one experiencing the symptoms a bit unaware.
What to watch for:
- becoming dizzy and light-headed
- when your vision becomes blurry
- the presence of a headache
- sometimes there will be fever and chills
- being overcome with extreme tiredness, weakness, irritability, or faintness
- there may be feelings of nausea
- you may experience vomiting
- there may be rapid and or shallow breathing
- you may feel weak but have a fast heartbeat
- there can be heavy sweating and excessive thirst
- the presence of cold, pale, and moist skin
- your ankles, feet, and hands may swell
- you may experience an actual low blood pressure
- dehydration may cause decreased urine output
Before any of these symptoms occur, you may also have obvious flushing of your skin, especially noticeable as your face flushes. Pay attention to these warnings.
Stop activities, get in the shade, and start drinking water. If an improvement of symptoms does not occur pretty quickly, you may need medical help.
This is especially important for your kids. They get so into their playtime that they don’t realize they are getting in trouble.
Try to schedule events to happen at better times of the day when it is cooler. Earlier in the day, or later when it is cooler.
Is It Heat Exhaustion Or Heat Stroke
Heat-related illnesses can be serious and life-threatening. Some can have long-lasting effects. More important information
Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke are types of heat-related illnesses. Heat stroke is the more serious type and happens as your body loses the ability to control its temperature.
If your body is unable to control its temperature by sweating, its will temperature rise. If a person experiences a heat stroke, body temperature can rise as high as 106°F or even higher within 10-15 minutes.
FYI: the normal temperature is 98°F. Compared to heat exhaustion, the symptoms of a heat stroke are more severe.
These more severe symptoms include confusion, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, and seizures, and they can even lead to death if left untreated.
When dealing with someone who has experienced symptoms of heat exhaustion or a heat stroke, it’s important to seek medical help right away.
If possible, move away from the hot and humid environment and get to a cooler area with good air circulation. Sit down or lie down. Get as cool as possible.
Remember that using cold compresses and cold water, on the head and face as well as the back of the neck of the affected person may also help.
If You Don’t Protect Yourself From The Heat From The Sun
You may not be able to see UV radiation, but it can still penetrate your skin. This heat is also reflected by ice, sand, snow, and water. This heat can even go through windows. And unsurprisingly, this heat can also cause skin cancer, according to SkinCancer.org.
The sun’s heat is highest during the summer months. Between 10 AM and 4 PM are the most dangerous times.
Spending long periods of time outdoors during these times increases your risk of getting sunburn. Sunburn will affect your vision too, causing red, dry, irritated, and painful eyes.
Years of sun exposure can lead to early wrinkling and aging of your skin. There can be age spots, and an increased risk of skin cancer for you as well.
Too much exposure to the sun can also cause your eyes to form pterygiums, abnormal tissue growth, cataracts, and possibly macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness. Is that enough to scare you?
To Help Protect Yourself From Heat-Stress Conditions Wear Sun-Protective Clothing
SkinCance.org tells us that sun blocking clothing includes
- Wide-brim hats of tightly woven materials do not allow the sun through to your head.
- Long sleeve shirts that are loose-fitting to allow air around your body
- Pants or skirts that cover your legs all the way to the ankles.
These will give you an extra layer of protection against the sun.
In addition, some garments have a UPF number that corresponds to how much UV radiation goes through the material to your skin.
For example, UPF 50 tells you that the fabric blocks 98% of the sun’s rays.
Dark or bright colors, dense materials or tightly woven fabrics, and certain types of fabrics like unbleached cotton, shiny polyester, and satiny silk will also offer some protection against UV radiation. Even without the UPF rating.
There are many risks that come with sun exposure. But you can still enjoy being outdoors, and stay safe when you have proper protection for your skin.
The first step is making yourself aware and knowing what to do. Applying these sun safety practices and making them a habit is the key.
Your Body’s Natural Protection, Do You Have Any?
Your skin contains a pigment, called melanin, which is what gives your color and protects your skin from excessive sun exposure.
If you are a lighter-skinned individual, you have less melanin compared to people with darker skin, so those with lighter skin can get sunburned more easily.
Skin cancer is more commonly seen in those of us with lighter skin tones. However, those of you with darker skin tones are not off the hook. Any type of skin tone can still develop skin cancer.
Active young people are at greater risk for skin cancer, but due to the nature of skin cancer, most cases are usually in adults 65 or older.
My family of light skin, blonde, green, and blue-eyed kids have been in the dermatologist’s office since they were in their early 40s. Unfortunately, their parents were unaware of the dangers of too much sun for them in their higher risk catagory.
In addition to prolonged sun exposure, it’s estimated that only around 15% of the older population regularly use sun protection, which increases their risk even further.
These riskier behaviors make people over 65 more vernable to heat-stress-related conditions. Using sunscreen and sun blocking clothing can help you keep the sunburn factor out of the picture.
This will give your body less to deal with in the hot time of the year if you are out.
For the younger members of your family, staying hydrated and finding shade, using sun blocking clothing, and starting with a sun hat can keep them safer. Choosing the cooler times of day to be out is an important factor as well.
Using The Protection Of Shade
Remember, the sun’s UV rays are the strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM during the summer. Limit sun exposure during these times.
If that’s not possible, try to stay in the shade as much as you can. We often overlook this method of staying cooler, and safer by edging to the shady side of the yard, or park.
However, it’s important to remember that shade provided by trees and umbrellas won’t fully protect you from sun exposure. Applying sunscreen to all skin not covered by clothing is still crucial, even when you’re not directly under the sun.
Sami’s Take On How The Heat Will Affect Your Body
It only takes one episode of near heat stroke to make you aware of the dangers this condition can hold. My one time was a surprise, but fainting is a wake-up call. I was not even pushing that hard, but I had all of the symptoms above and knew it was time to change things.
There is a real danger in the heat stress conditions for people of all ages. Our younger grandkids to the ones in my generation. Knowing what to do is important.
Prevention is the best move, and awareness can better prepare you for fun in the sun. When you are in a situation where it is possible for a heat-related illness, watch those in your group. Alert them to any irregularities you are noticing.
Just a few years ago, the day had turned pleasant from an overcast stormy early morning, the time I usually walked.
As the later morning seemed so nice, I decided to take that walk, was almost noon. I got almost home. I could see our house. But, that was as far as I could go. A call to my husband brought him over in the car to get me.
That made me aware of how careless I had been. The light shower had left more humidity, and the sun was bearing down. The time I chose to walk was not a safe one for me. I didn’t even have a hat on.
Sharing this story makes me weak-kneed and queasy. Almost like the original event. It can be serious. Pay attention. Stay safe.
The heat can affect you more than you realize.