July 20, 2019   11:54pm
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Bruce Talks: How to be safe in the heat

Our “Being Physical” pro Bruce reminds us what to do to avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion…

IT’S SUMMER. IT’S HOT. GO OUT. BE SAFE. HAVE FUN.

Yes, it’s hot in the summer. At some point most of us will end up in the midst of a heat wave — which often means the temperature can be well over 90 degrees. During these periods we’re told to watch out for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, both of which can be very dangerous and, in the latter case, even life threatening. However, don’t be frightened by those over-hyped created-to-get-higher-ratings TV heat warnings. To paraphrase what a Yosemite Park ranger once told me when it was pouring down rain: “There’s no such thing as bad weather — only the wrong gear”.

As an endurance athlete, I’m here to tell you that you CAN get heat stroke: temperature to 106 degrees, fast pulse, hallucinations. Heat stroke is very dangerous and requires quick medical care. But more common is heat exhaustion: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, cramps, and dizziness which can happen when you’re not careful, especially if you’re older or overweight.

Here are a few things you can do to stay safe in the heat:

1. Drink lots of water — all day — and ALWAYS carry water with you on a hot day. If you’re going to exercise this is a no-brainer. You MUST bring water with you.

2. If you’re going to do anything strenuous, go out early in the a.m. or later in the p.m. Mid-day sun is not fun.

3. Always wear a hat if you are exercising strenuously outdoors. There are outdoor clothing companies that sell hats that have “mylar,” an aluminum reflective-like substance that sits in the top inside of a hat. It reflects the sun away from your head. Get a hat like this if you can.

4. Feel too hot or dizzy–Ask for help! Drink some water fast; get into the shade; take your shirt off; and lie down.

5. When you watch the weather, simply check out the temperature and humidity — ignore the hype. Do not “stretch” beyond your limit.

Be safe — most of you CAN go outside,

Bruce

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