MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — With the warmer months finally here, officials urge you to be safe in the heat when engaging in athletic outdoor activities, such as playing sports, working out or even running.
“It’s very important for people to be aware of the environment, aware of the heat and especially the humidity,” Monongalia EMS Field Training Officer Lee Fuell said.
According to Fuell, there are many signs that you could potentially have a heat-related illness. Some of those include: feeling weak, dizzy or lightheaded, excessively sweating, having your hands feeling puffy and more.
“Those are all indicators that you might be pushing yourself harder than you need to and should probably back off,” he said.
Heat stroke and exertional heat stroke are life-threatening heat illnesses that can take place if you don’t take the proper precautions when engaging in athletic activities. To Fuell, one of those important precautions to Fuell is acclimating to the heat.
“So what we do is advise people to do to protect themselves is first you need to acclimate to the heat,” Fuell said. “We recommend people to spend an hour or two out in the heat doing activity in a controlled setting.”
Another recommendation he gives is staying hydrated and monitoring your urine level.
“The way that you can tell if you are properly hydrated is if the first urine of the day is pale lemonade,” Fuell said. “If it’s darker than that then you aren’t hydrated enough and rehydrate during activity.”
He encourages people to drink when they feel thirsty. Fuell says drinking water or a sports drink with electrolytes is a great way to fuel back up. His personal favorite to rehydrate is a drink with coconut water.
He also advises people to wear light-shaded or light-weighted clothes and to get into the shade or cooler air whenever they start to notice any of the signs of a heat illness.