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As summer begins to draw to a close, much of the country has been subjected to a massive heat wave and Greenville NC is no exception. With the majority of the state under a high heat warning, many of us don’t want to move any more than we have to. It’s not just that heat “makes us lazy” as a recent study states, it’s that moving around a lot and over exerting ourselves in this kind of weather isn’t healthy! Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are no joke and fire departments and EMTs up and down the east coast and out into the Midwest are trying to make sure people know the symptoms of both.
With this horrid heat and humidity, no one can blame you for not wanting to exercise; again, it’s not healthy! In weather like this, simply sitting in your living room watching television can seem like a work out with how much you may be sweating. There are a few things you can do to help keep yourself cool and healthy in weather like this while we wait for this heat wave to pass us by.
1. Drink a lot of water! Although this may seem obvious, dehydration is one of the main causes of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. While water may not be your favorite drink, it is the best to ingest in this weather. If you really can’t stand water, something close like lemonade or iced tea will help, but things like soda and especially alcohol are not a good idea.
2. Stay out of the sun. Although this may be difficult depending on your job, try your best to stay out of direct sunlight. Not only can the sun speed up the onset of heat related illnesses, but it can also cause sunburn very quickly and prolonged exposure can lead to sun poisoning. If you cannot avoid direct sunlight, wear appropriate level sunscreen and reapply often.
3. Get to a cool area. If your residence doesn’t have air conditioning or a large number of fans, if possible, get to a building that does. Going into your local mall or grocery store is generally a safe place to be in temperatures like this. While you are in there, you may feel comfortable enough to walk around as well, which will help to keep your joints nice and loose.
Above all, the main thing is for you to remain safe. Learn the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and if you suspect you are beginning to exhibit them, call EMS immediately. Take extra care watching young children or elderly people in your care, as they are more susceptible to falling victim to one of these. Stay cool and stay safe!

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