Saturday, May 16, 2015

Be careful when working outside in the heat

Always wear a hat when working outdoors!
Hot, humid weather is a danger to anyone who works outside, either for a job or for a pastime like gardening. When you're working outside, your body tries to cool itself by sweating. When it's mild weather, your perspiration evaporates and starts to cool you off. But working outside when it is hot and humid makes it harder for sweat to evaporate.

Here are some precautions for helping regulate your body's temperature:

Get used to the heat, both at the beginning of the hot season and at the beginning of the day. Adults require three to seven days to acclimate to the heat.

Rest every once in a while in the air conditioning or shade.

As you're working outside, drink 1 cup of cool water every 15 to 20 minutes. Your body can produce 2 to 3 gallons of sweat throughout the day, so make sure you're taking in at least as much liquid as you're sweating out. It's dangerous to wait until you're thirsty before getting a drink. If your outdoor task takes more than an hour, drink a sports drink such as Powerade or Gatorade to help replace the electrolytes your body is excreting in its sweat.

Wear loose, lightly colored cotton clothing. And don't forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen.

Next: Dealing with heat exhaustion and heat stroke

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