Why Heat Acclimation Matters
The dog days of summer are right around the corner, while for many, they’ve already arrived. As the temperature rises, it’s important to make sure you are fully acclimated to the heat. Doing so can help prevent heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Heat acclimation is the process of improving your tolerance to heat. It’s done by gradually increasing the intensity or duration of work in high temperatures.
- No matter the outside temp, your body needs to maintain a core temperature of 98.6 °F
How you stay cool
To maintain core temperature, your body cools itself by sweating. The evaporation of your sweat regulates your body temperature. However, strenuous exercise in hot, humid weather means your body has to work harder to cool itself.
Your body’s physical response to heat depends on how well you are acclimated. Generally, acclimation takes place over a period of 1-2 weeks. During this period be sure to limit your time and efforts while outdoors. Then, once acclimated to the heat, it’s critical to maintain acclimation.
- If you are regularly outside as the heat increases with the season, you should be reasonably acclimated already.
Staying properly hydrated is key. Drink plenty of water, even if you’re not doing anything strenuous. Try to avoid feeling thirsty as this is the first sign of dehydration.
- Help your body cool itself by wearing loose-fitting and lightweight clothing.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Always use a minimum SPF 15 sunblock and reapply regularly.
Schedule a telehealth appointment
It’s important to understand how heat may affect your body. Be sure to ask your doctor if it’s okay to be outside during the warmer months. Click here to schedule a Teladoc® appointment to speak with a doctor.