Monday, July 4, 2011

Wilted and Waning… and Deadly

It’s the fourth of July today. The national birthday for the USA and, like most people, I have outdoor plans. However, most people seldom remember that the Houston heat can be a dangerous thing until it’s too late.

Alright, so I don’t plan on jogging or challenging friends to a game of…., well… anything, but I do plan on being outdoors grilling and spending time with friends and family. That alone can put a stress on your body; especially for us “over forty” crowd.

But, that’s not gonna be us because I’m prepared to give you my combat plan to fight the heat and still enjoy the traditional holiday.

First, don't neglect one of your body's most basic needs: water.

Since more than half of your body is made up of water, you should always be drinking enough of it to keep your body well hydrated. And, you should strive to increase your normal intake during the hot weather season

This doesn’t mean you must forgo your favorite summer beverage (alcoholic or not), but you should supplement your intake with water, too. Especially when you consider those drinks often contain extra sugar and calories that can negate your good health.

Another trick I use is to roll some ice in a clean hand towel and drape that around my neck. Since your brain is most susceptible to the heat, this little trick can do wonders for making your outdoor stay more bearable. It doesn’t hurt to stay in the shade, or wear a good brimmed hat either.

Finally, if you are near an air-conditioned space, be sure to take a break! Rotate your outdoor time with indoor time and allow your body to cool down a bit before venturing out again. No one’s gonna call you a “wimp!” In fact, you will probably start a trend for the other guests, and for good reason; heat can kill.

Dizziness, nausea, severe head-aches, body cramps and fainting are just a few of the symptoms of heat stroke and dehydration. So, if you experience any of these, get somewhere cool fast. Ignore these symptoms and you could be ending the holiday with an expensive hospital stay being treated for heat exhaustion.

Instead, use these tips to enjoy the summer and live your life – well.

John Aaron Villarreal

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cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

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