Living in Central Florida presents an opportunity to play golf year round, which is partly why it is one of the top golf destinations in the world. During the winter months the weather is usually very pleasant, with average temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees. The wonderful thing about those statistics is that the low evening temperatures in January tend to balance out the scorching highs during the summer months. From May to October the average high temp is around 90 with high humidity. Needless to say, this makes golf in the summer time – no matter where you live – a physical challenge.
One of the biggest concerns for summertime activities in Florida is heat exhaustion. Having been a victim of heat exhaustion a few times I have some experience with the prevention and treatment of this condition.
Recognizing Heat Exhaustion
Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:
•Racing and/or irregular heartbeat
•Nausea or vomiting
The skin may be cool and moist. Your pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke, which is a serious medical emergency. The last time I showed signs of heat exhaustion my heart rate was elevated and inconsistent, and I felt dizzy and light-headed. The first time I got it I eventually passed out, which made me realize that it’s a serious condition that requires immediate treatment and prevention.
What to Do
Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:
•Drink cold, nonalcoholic beverages
•Cover your head with an iced towel
•Get out of the sun and heat and rest.
•Take a cold shower, bath, or sponge bath
•Find an air-conditioned environment
•Wear lightweight clothing
The iced towel method worked well for me to reduce my symptoms until I could get some rest and re-hydrate. You are supposed to drink 16 to 32 ounces of cool fluids per hour in hot weather. Also drink a sports beverage to replace some of the salts and minerals your body loses through perspiration.
Be smart when doing outdoor activities in a hot climate. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be prevented if you are prepared. Make sure you are well hydrated by drinking plenty of water the day/night before the activity and during the time you are outside. Make sure you stay away from heavy, hot meals before going outside and seek shade whenever possible. Keep a cooler with ice and water available and soak a towel to drape over your head periodically. Finally, make sure you monitor your own progress and symptoms. If you or your friends recognize any of the signs, get treatment immediately before your condition worsens.
I hope these tips help you to cope with the hot weather better. Be Safe!
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