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Wellness Wednesday: Staying Safe in the Heat

Happy Fourth of July! Hopefully you’ll be outside celebrating the holiday today. If its warm where you are, or will be soon, you’ll want to be organized and prepared to stay healthy AND enjoy the heat.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the rare hot, sunny summer day seems to draw us all to the outdoors to get our fair share of vitamin D. You shouldn’t forget that being out in the heat of the day can be dangerous if you aren’t prepared. Following our tips for healthy heat exposure can go a long way in keeping you happy in the sun this summer.

1. Drink lots and lots of water to stay hydrated. Take water with you constantly and remember to refill your container throughout the day. Stay away from carbonated and caffeinated beverages which can dehydrate you.

2. Wear loose and light cotton clothing. Dark colors can absorb heat and tight clothing can prevent sweat from evaporating and keeping you cool.

3. Don’t overexert yourself and don’t spend too much time in direct sunlight. Try to exercise in shady areas and time your activity to occur during the cooler hours of the morning and evening.

4. Wear sunscreen. A sunburn decreases your body’s ability to cool its self.

5. Know how to identify the early signs of heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can come on suddenly, often after excessive perspiration and inadequate fluid intake. Knowing the signs can prevent it from becoming life threatening. Early signs include: dizziness, nausea, sweating, a low fever, cramps and overall fatigue. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, move them to a shady location, have them lie down and make sure they are following our sun safety tips. Get medical attention immediately if the person cannot cool down or if they are suffering from heat stroke.

How do you stay cool in the sun? We want to know!

If you have an idea for a Wellness Wednesday topic, tell us about it! We are always looking for great ideas for improving health and wellness.

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