Cool It During The Summer

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Summer can be an unnecessarily dangerous time of the year. In our enthusiasm to participate in summer activities, we can go beyond our physical limitations causing the body to become overly stressed. This can result in heat stroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion. These reactions usually occur when large amounts of water, salts, or both, are lost through profuse sweating following strenuous exercise or manual labor in an extremely hot atmosphere. Elderly persons, small children, chronic invalids, overweight people, and alcoholics are especially sensitive to circulatory reactions, particularly if they live in a normally moderate climate. Although everyone regardless of age or sex is a potential victim, males are considered generally more susceptible because of their physical make-up. About 75% of energy produced by muscle activity in the body is in the form of heat. Heat is dissipated by vasodilation of surface vessels, perspiration, and panting. Females can usually endure more external heat than males because their subcutaneous tissue acts as an insulator which aids in optimal thermal maintenance.

Males are more likely to succumb to problems induced by insufficient heat loss, but both sexes must watch out for heat-induced afflictions. Summer danger is not limited to the direct effects of heat alone. As the individual’s body temperature builds and fatigue sets in, coordination and discretion are affected. The person becomes more negligent…and this invites other types of injury. Preventive measures include getting plenty of water and micronutrient, such as are offered in electrolyte drinks. These drinks replace vital minerals lost in perspiration and metabolism.

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