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Ayesha Qureshi
Ayesha Qureshi, MPH

Summer has arrived — the season for fun in the sun. But too much activity in high temperatures can put you at risk for heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. This happens when your body is unable to keep itself cool.

With just a few precautionary measures, you can prevent heat-related illnesses. Here are some tips:

You will be sweating more out in the heat. When you sweat, your body looses liquid that needs to be replenished. Drink plenty of water before and after strenuous activity. If you are really going to push it, keep drinks with electrolytes on hand to help you recover.

Don’t Overwork Yourself
Being out in the sun can be fun, but don’t overdo it. Take frequent breaks to give yourself time to cool off and recover.

Proper Clothing
Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible by not wearing clothes that are constricting and tight. Or, if you are participating in a sporting activity where you are in more tight-fitting outfit, make sure the fabric is one that wicks the sweat away. This is why cotton is not a good choice, as it does not allow the sweat to evaporate as quickly.

Stay Indoors, if Possible
I’m not saying don’t have fun in the sun; just use common sense. If the temps are 90 and above, opt to stay indoors. If you must go out, be sure to hydrate properly, put on sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), wear a microfiber hat with a wide brim, and don’t forget the sunglasses.

Being smart about the heat will allow you to have a fun summer that’s also safe.

Note: heat stroke can be a serious medical condition. WebMD provides a great guide detailing symptoms and what to do if you suffer one.

Here’s to summer! Let’s make it safe.

This article was made possible with support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, which has sponsored Qcitymetro’s Health Page since 2010.

Ayesha Qureshi is a certified health and wellness coach and has a background in health behavior and health education.