The Easiest Ways To Help Prevent Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is an illness that occurs as a result of your body getting too hot, losing too much water and salt through sweating, and not being able to cool itself down properly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When one occurs, body temperatures can reach as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit or continue spiking, all in no more than 10 to 15 minutes. Therefore, it's crucial to treat heat exhaustion quickly as it can lead to a heat stroke (via the Cleveland Clinic). 

When you're suffering from heat exhaustion, you can experience a fast pulse, sweating, and goosebumps on your skin, which may feel cool or clammy. You may also feel tired, dizzy, nauseous, have shallow breathing, and experience muscle cramps. Those most vulnerable to heat exhaustion are the elderly, those with high blood pressure, and individuals who work in the heat, per the CDC. Keep in mind, certain heart failure and chemotherapy medications can also make people more sensitive to heat, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Avoid the heat and stay hydrated

One of the easiest things you can do to avoid heat exhaustion is to avoid working or exerting yourself during the hottest part of the day, per Insider. If you must be outside when it's hot, it's best to do so early in the morning or in the evening hours. You can also cool yourself periodically with a water hose or wet towels. In addition, be sure to wear loose, light clothing. Your body can't cool itself properly if it's covered tightly, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Another way to prevent heat exhaustion is to stay hydrated. Your body needs fluids to sweat, which it must do to maintain a normal temperature. And when you're sweating outside, you're not just losing water, you're losing electrolytes, and a sports drink that contains electrolytes can help replenish what your body loses (via Insider). In fact, the experts at the Cleveland Clinic recommend taking sips every 30 minutes whether you feel thirsty or not. If your symptoms don't improve after an hour of drinking fluids and cooling down, you should seek medical attention.