If I am outside these days, you will more than likely catch me doing this. Drinking my Gatorade. It is August and the weeds are taking over. The garden needs to be tidied and the yard needs mowing. Weed eating needs to be done and the new plants would surely love some Miracle Grow. I have spent 6+ hours a day outside since around April Digging my Landscape and enduring Blood, Sweat, Tears and Itching. July and August is a different story here in East Tennessee and a lot of other areas in the world. It is majorly hot and humid and the two together can really affect your health.
I am accustomed to being outside and actively exercising and/or working in the heat, I love it and usually it does not bother me at all. But this type of heat is dangerous and can result in what I call, being “humidifried”, It can sneak up on you and make you really sick.
For example the other day, I was outside doing a medium to low physical activity and found myself dripping with sweat and not feeling so good. I became dizzy, fatigued, sick and weak. I have also felt bloated and just not so perky. So, I did some research and it appears that I have been “humidifried” or suffering from the effects of heat exhaustion.
Heat combined with high levels of humidity interferes with the body’s ability to cool itself. So when I was dripping sweat, the sweat was not able to evaporate and cool off my body. This can effect your major organs and even be deadly. The very young and the very old, of course, are vulnerable, but this can effect any one at any age. I have noticed that it does get worse with age. Time to go in, take a shower and a nap in the cool AC.
Take a look at this chart. It is called the heat index.
I like the chart because it is easy to understand. The other day when I was having issues, the temperature was in the 90′s and the humidity near 80%. According to the chart, it felt like 113 degrees. It would be a good idea to copy this in color and post on the refrigerator, near the Gatorade.
I was shocked to learn that heat is the number one weather related killer!!!! According to the National Weather Service, on average, excessive heat claims more lives each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. In the disastrous heat wave of 1980′s more than 1,250 people died. In the heat wave of 1995 more than 700 deaths in the Chicago area were attributed to heat. In August 2003, a record heat wave in Europe claimed an estimated 50,000 lives.
During weather like this, take care not to be “humidifried”:
- If you have to work outside, try to do it early, before 11:00 and after 4:00.
- Plan to work outside in short spurts. Have activities inside planned as well and switch back and forth.
- Catch up on filing, research, reading. Activities that can be done inside with the good ole A/C.
- Limit running errands. This can really heat you up. Even with AC in the car, it takes awhile for it and you to cool off between each errand.
- Don’t push it! If you start feeling bad, STOP, go inside and cool off.
- Drink lots of water and Gatorade, even if you do not feel thirsty. Keep those fluids going in.
- Take extra precautions if you have diabetes, heart disease, asthma or other illnesses and if you are on medication. Certain medications can make it worse.
- Whenever possible, us a fan, it makes a huge difference. I was able to rip these boards out on a very hot and humid day by having the fan blow on me.