Now that summer is here, many of us are getting geared up and enjoying the beach and beautiful weather; but with temperatures rising across all of Florida, it is important we take steps to take care of ourselves — as well as our family and friends.
Getting out in that hot Florida sun can be good though. Working up a good sweat comes with a range of benefits. Scandinavians have known that for centuries. Sweating flushes toxins like alcohol, salts and even cholesterol out of your body and gets rid of toxins that can clog pores and plague the skin with pimples and blemishes. It can also force your body to burn calories, induce better sleep and improve cardiovascular performance.
Another benefit is that when you sweat, the peptides produced by sweat glands act as antibiotics and can fight off infection, thus boosting immunity. And, in the traditional Scandinavian way, taking a cold shower after sweating will close your pores and boost circulation.
But, it’s not all bad in Florida. We can still take full advantage of the hot weather without worrying about heat-related problems so l0ng as we remember to take the proper precautions.
Heat-related emergencies are very common here, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke but these emergencies are totally avoidable and only happen when you are dehydrated and your body heat rises.
The first step to avoiding such emergencies is, of course, to take the appropriate preventive measures. This means drinking lots of cool fluids throughout the day to prevent dehydration, wearing light or loose clothing to let air circulate and heat to escape the body, as well as applying sunscreen preferably with SPF 15 or higher. Sunburned skin is dangerous as it reduces the body’s ability to cool itself.
Symptoms to watch out for are dry skin, confusion, headache, dark yellow urine, small production of urine, nausea and rapid, shallow breathing.
Anyone can be at risk of heat stress or heat stroke, so family members or carers need to ensure all young children and the elderly are properly taken care of. “Heat stress can occur within a few minutes and may lead to potentially fatal heat stroke,” said Dr. Ravi Nathan, a local cardiologist in Brooksville. And the best preventive medicine is about 16 fl. oz. of water an hour, ideally combined with keeping out of the sun.