• HEATWAVE HEALTH TIPS

    on Jul 10th, 2018

1) De-stress

The hotter it gets, the hotter we get. I am talking about our anger and anxiety! Researchers found this is because your heart rate and blood pressure increase as your body tries to cool itself down. Mixed that with having anxiety with dehydration, and you can become extremely stressed during a heatwave and not even know why.

There are ways of fighting back though. Cold calming tea is a great de-stresser in the heat, which helps reduce anxiety. Also a some dark chocolate will calm you down when you’re hot as well. Researchers suggest that people who eat dark chocolate on average have lower levels of the stress inducing hormone cortisol.

2) Decrease alcohol Consumption

We all love a great beer in the summertime, but if you want to stay healthy in thsi heat, you’ll need to limit how much alcohol you consume. In fact, according to a study at Loughborough University, it is suggested to decrease alcohol all together when temperatures increase.

Drinking a small amount of weak beer can cause diuretic effects that lead to dehydration. Most of the time this isn’t an issue but a heatwave is a different story. You will be losing a lot of water through weating, so adding alcohol to the situation can be a recipe for disaster, leading to dehydration induced vomiting and dizziness. Not a great way to end the summer.

3) Recognizing Danger

Tornadoes and floods are dangerous and scary, but heat is the number one killer when it comes to weather. The reasoning behind this is because heat related illnesses usually are ignored until it's too late. The first signs you’ll want to look out for during a heatwave are dizziness, sickness, and extremely heavy sweating. This could be signs of heat exhaustion, or even worse, a heat stroke. These can both be avoided by taking in enough fluids and getting out of the sun. If you suspect that you might be having a heat stroke or are experiencing heat exhaustion, call an ambulance right away. Not doing so could cause brain damage or death.

4) Replenish your salt levels

It has been said that, one of the main health risks of a heatwave is reduced sodium levels. When heat and humidity are high your body expend more water, which leads to the loss of sodium through sweat.

Low levels of sodium in your muscles can cause painful stabbing pains, known as muscle cramps. If you notice your muscles are cramping up in the heat, try mixing a small amount of salt into any water you drink or if you don't have salt laying around, a bit of a pickle can do the trick as well as smart water.

5) Avoid the car

You would think that riding in a vehicle would be best to help with the heatwave. Think again. Researchers suggest that prolonged time spent in a car when temperatures are high can potentially be deadly, especially with children.

During the study the researchers stated a massive increase of in-car temperature from (72ºF) to (117ºF) in under an HOUR, even with the window cracked open. This kind of temperature increase is extremely dangerous, and since it is slowly increasing you might not even notice it until you start feeling pretty bad. Take a walk instead, it will be far better for you if you stick to the shade where possible.

6) Be cautious of fans

If your office air conditioner isn't working, you might be desperate for some sort of breeze to cool you down. According to some reserachers, this isn't the best idea. All a fan can do is push air in the room at it's current temperature, at you – if that air is hot already, all you’ll be doing is increasing your body temperature without even realizing it, especially if the fan is near a window.

Instead of using a fan that is blowing hot air, the researchers suggest using a misting spray. Spray this in front of the fan to cool down the air. 

7) Watch out for humidity

The temperature shouldn’t be the only thing you look at during a heatwave. There’s another deadly factor you need to be aware of, which is, humidity. When your body heats up it attempts to cool itself down by removing heat by sweatting. If the air is already full of humidity, your body struggles to sweat enough according to researchers, which can lead to your core temperature rising to dangerous levels.

When you go out into the heat next, remember to check the humidity as well. If it’s high, it might be worth waiting until later in the day when things have cooled down slightly.

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