Health professionals share tips to avoid heat-related illnesses

Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 5:39 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Temperatures in the Chattahoochee Valley are sweltering, making some outdoor activities unbearable. But do you know what to do if you do overheat from the hot weather?

Darrel Wright owns Wright Way Fitness in Midtown, which works with clients and encourages them to stay cool during fitness training. He says there are three levels of overhearing in humans.

“You have heat-cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” Wright explained.

While he trains his clients in a gym without air conditioning, he says people must prepare for high temperatures and direct sunlight.

“You [want to] stay cool. You [want to] wear light clothing, preferably not black, and drink a lot of fluid, preferably water.”

Dr. Daryl Ellis agrees with that advice. You also have to be able to tell the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“The symptoms associated with heat exhaustion are excessive sweating. You get dizziness and, in some places, you get muscle cramping,” said the doctor.

While heat stroke is the highest level of heat-related illness, it occurs when sweating, dizziness, and cramping worsen.

“You go from being light-headed and dizzy to actual disorientation and confusion. You can start doing things that are contradictory fo your body to be able to repair itself. And now, you have a medical emergency.”

Both Wright and Dr. Ellis say the right way to do things is always to stay hydrated. A tip for staying hydrated is to drink a lot of water. Doctors say it’s no longer 64 ounces but recommend consuming half your body weight.