Fun in the Sun Means Proper Preparation
Dreyer says he sees a "fair number" of people with heat exhaustion
who have been out on the baseball field or construction site for too long. But
many victims of heat illness, particularly children, never get to the emergency
room. "Quite a number of them are never diagnosed; they just go home
feeling a little lousy, and they're real hot," he tells WebMD.
"If they're healthy, usually that's a self-limited disease. They get too
tired to play, or they go home, or their mothers notice their faces are real
red and they're sweating profusely and they take them home," Dreyer
Of course, there is a way around all this: water. It's important for
everyone, but it takes on added importance for people working outside, whether
they are paving roads or exercising.
David Martin has completed 29 marathons, and he's never, as he calls it,
"bonked." But plenty of athletes, experienced or not, fade as they work
out in temperatures high enough to make a kettle whistle.
Martin says he owes his successful track record to proper preparation --
especially the proper regulation of fluids. Of course, he also has an advantage
over most people in that he has a PhD in physiology and is the chairman of
sport science for U.S.A. Track and Field.
"I've always been sly enough and followed my principles of
physiology," Martin tells WebMD. Those principles are quite simple, he
says: If you're an athlete -- whether you're training for the Olympics or just
jogging around the block -- "you really want to live a healthy lifestyle,
which means not being thirsty and not being hungry."
Although avoiding the hottest parts of the day is best, that's not always
possible. So week-long laborers and weekend warriors alike should make sure
they never let themselves get thirsty.
"As soon as they have reached a point of thirst, they actually are
dehydrated," Martin tells WebMD. "We say you never pass up a drinking
fountain, or carry a small bottle and take sips to make sure your fluid levels