Stay Healthy This Summer

The Valley of the Sun gets its name for a good reason, especially during the summer when the temperatures routinely break triple digits.

Rhonda J. Zonoozi, BS, CHWC, EP-C, an exercise physiologist and health coach for the Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing, offers a number of tips for beating the heat.

Drink plenty of water: If you plan on spending any time outdoors during the summer, staying well hydrated is a must. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to start drinking water — start downing the H2O prior to going outside and then continue to hydrate during and afterward. Get into the habit of carrying water with you whenever you leave your home.

Protect your skin from the sun: Try to limit your outside activities to early in the morning or later in the day. Regardless of whether the day is sunny or cloudy, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 a half-hour before going outside. Reapply the sunscreen often, wear light-colored clothing that covers your skin as much as possible, and protect the eyes with sunglasses that have a UV rating on the label.

Know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses: Check the National Weather Service heat index often at this link: nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/heat_index.shtml, and be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. They include feeling faint, headache, feeling dizzy or nauseous, becoming confused or agitated, having a rapid pulse, having dry or flushed skin and not sweating. If any of these occur, get into an air-conditioned area immediately, and call 911, if necessary. For more information, visit nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/heat-illness.shtml.   

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