Heat can play hell with your body.
From mild sunburn to potentially-fatal heatstroke, the effects of high temperatures can be fatal.
If you’re unused to the heat, any activity that saps your strength can be dangerous. Sunburn hurts – but heatstroke can actually kill – as can dehydration from failing to replace fluids lost to the body through intensive activities in soaring temperatures.
It’s all about being sensible – and pacing yourself in hot weather.
Protecting yourself from the sun’s harsh rays is paramount – especially for the fairer-skinned. A sun hat might not be the most attractive fashion accessory, but can keep your head cool and protect your face from sunburn.
Sun block on any exposed parts of your body will screen the worst of dangerous UV rays; the back of the neck and shoulders are particularly susceptible, as is a bald scalp and the tops of the feet.
Sunburn is not only extremely painful – it can increase the risk of skin cancer later in life.
In cases of severe sunburn, use cold compresses or immerse the affected area in cold water, and lather on calamine lotion to soothe the skin and help relieve the pain.
In serious cases where blisters have formed, seek medical advice immediately.
Heat stroke is a serious threat to health. Strenuous exercise in high temperatures will cause you to sweat out precious salts and minerals, quickly leading to heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Headaches, dizziness, confusion and nausea are all signs that your body has had enough – it is imperative that your temperature is lowered immediately and fluids quickly taken on board.
Get into the shade as soon as possible, cover your head with a wet towel, and sponge down with cold water.
Seek Medical Help
Anyone whose temperature hits 104°c is in serious danger of losing consciousness and must seek medical treatment without fail.
- Always wear sunscreen to block out UV rays. Even on cloudy days you can be in danger of sun damage to your skin
- Wear a hat to protect your face and head
- Keep up your fluid levels during any outdoor activity in high temperatures
- Wear loose clothing to prevent sweat rash and prickly heat
- Remember the worlds of Noel Coward – only ‘mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun!’ At the hottest time of the day, avoid both exposure to the sun and strength-sapping, high-octane activities outdoors
Sports specialists Gear-Zone have everything for outdoor types, from sunhats to swimwear, running shoes to rehydration drinks.
Nicki Williams is a copy-writer for the Norfolk-based, on-line sports and outdoor company.
Picture source: Columbia/Lifesystems/Gear-Zone