Physical activity is a cornerstone of good health, boosting mood, activity levels, and general wellness. However, outdoor activities in the hot conditions of the desert climate can physically tax the body without proper precautions, leading to dehydration, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke. Las Vegas healthcare providers typically see an increase in emergency care visits due to heat-related illnesses during the summer—keep reading to find out how you can avoid these situations and keep your cool while staying fit this year.
Acclimate to the Heat
Even moderate levels of activity on a hot day can quickly lead to dehydration and heat-related illness. However, did you know that you can actually train your body to function more efficiently in hot, dry conditions? You can acclimate your body to working out over the summer by starting out with short, 10-20-minute workouts at the beginning of the season and working your way up to longer workouts by adding a few minutes to your outdoor routine each day. For the best results, make sure to carry water with you and take a drink whenever you start to feel thirsty, rather than putting off hydration until the end of your workout.
Cool Your Core
Cooling your body from the inside out is one of the most effective ways to regulate your temperature and improve your workout in hot conditions. To cool your core, drink ice water or chew on ice during your workout. Placing your water bottle in the freezer for a short while can quickly cool the water and keep it cold throughout your exercise routine. When you’re through, drinking a healthy smoothie as a post-workout snack can boost energy levels while simultaneously reducing body temperature.
At Southern Hills Hospital, our hospital and emergency care center in Las Vegas are committed to delivering high-quality healthcare in a comfortable and modern setting. You can find out more about our emergency care services, including our InformER text service , on our website; you can also reach a registered nurse for more healthcare information by phone at (702) 880-2700.
Outdoor activities are a popular pastime during the summer, as plentiful sun and warm temperatures create the perfect environment for team sports and outdoor workouts. One of the easiest ways to stay safe and avoid orthopedic injuries during summertime activities is wearing safety gear, which can both reduce your risk of trips or falls and minimize damage if an accident occurs. Thus, choosing the right safety gear for your planned activity is a positive step towards a healthier, more enjoyable summer.
Focus on Footwear
Regardless of the sport or activity, you’re planning, footwear can be one of the most important pieces of safety gear you’ll wear. Properly-fitted athletic shoes can improve traction, reduce falls, and provide support for the joints and muscles as the body moves to prevent orthopedic pain and injuries. In addition to ensuring your footwear is the right size, also check over shoes before each game or workout session to identify signs of wear or damage. Rather than trying to make shoes last to save money, replace your shoes regularly to prevent injuries and improve safety.
Get Your Own Gear
There is no substitute for bringing your own safety gear to the playing field. Avoid borrowing gear from a friend or other individual, as this gear may not be in good condition and isn’t likely to fit properly. If you plan to pursue a sport for any period of time, invest in your own high-quality gear that fits and meets your specific safety needs. Keep your gear clean and check its condition regularly, and take action when cleaning, repair, or replacement is needed.
At Southern Hills Hospital, our goal is to provide patients with the information they need to enjoy a healthy and safe lifestyle. Our medical services include emergency care and orthopedic surgery in Las Vegas to ensure you receive the care you need to treat injuries and illnesses at any time of the year. Please stop by our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (520) 722-5079 for more information about our health resources and health care providers.
UV radiation consists of high-energy photons, which are produced by the sun and present in the sunlight that reaches the Earth. In addition to damaging the skin through sunburn, UV rays can also cause damage to the eyes, including conditions such as photokeratitis, cataracts, and macular degeneration. At Southern Hills Hospital , we understand the challenges of keeping your skin and eyes healthy in sunny Las Vegas—keep reading to learn several simple ways you can protect your eyes from UV rays for greater comfort and improved eye health throughout the year.
Wear Good-Quality Sunglasses
Sunglasses are one of the easiest tools at your disposal to protect your eyes from UV rays. However, the quality of your sunglasses will reflect the level of protection they provide. Look for high-quality sunglasses that block out 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation. The lenses should be a single, solid color, rather than graduated, and provide accurate color recognition for safety while driving and performing other activities. If possible, choose sunglasses that cover your eyes completely from the front and the sides for protection in all directions.
Wear a Brimmed Hat
Wearing a hat with a brim wide enough to cover your upper face will help you stay cool while reducing the amount of UV light your eyes receive from the sun. Although shading your eyes with a brimmed hat will reduce direct UV exposure, it’s important to note that UV rays can reflect into your eyes from the pavement, water, glass, and other materials or surfaces; thus, you should always combine a brimmed hat with sunglasses for the best coverage and protection.
UV radiation is present all year long, so make sure you follow the tips above regardless of the season or weather for better eye and skin health. You can learn more about sun protection in Las Vegas when you visit Southern Hills Hospital online to check out our H2U online health resource , or by calling (702) 880-2700 for more information about our hospital services, including general, orthopedic, geriatric, and emergency care.
Dehydration is a serious condition that can lead to severe medical complications if not addressed promptly. Knowing the signs of dehydration and when emergency care is needed can help you take quick action to protect your health and the health of your family.
When your body becomes dehydrated, changes in fluid levels also affect the levels of electrolytes in the blood and muscles, as well as the body’s ability to flush toxins from the muscles. Low fluid levels in the body can also diminish its ability to regulate internal temperature. These effects can all combine to cause painful muscle cramps, which can occur even if you aren’t taking part in physical activities.
Fever and Chills
Dehydration and poor temperature regulation can cause you to feel cold, rather than hot. Individuals suffering from dehydration often develop chills and a fever, which can become dangerous if your temperature rises too high without medical attention. If you have a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit that you think is associated with dehydration, you should consider seeking prompt emergency care.
Heat-related illnesses and poor body temperature regulation are often associated with excessive sweating, however, the reduced fluid levels in the body and altered circulation patterns caused by dehydration can affect your ability to sweat, leading to dry skin that may also appear irritated or flushed.
Did You Know?
Dehydration is a serious health concern for all individuals, but can be particularly dangerous in young children and older adults. Children can become overheated three to five times faster than an adult, while seniors experience a lower thirst impulse and are more likely to become dehydrated when fluids lost through sweating or urination are not replaced.
Southern Hills Hospital is proud to be your trusted emergency care provider in Las Vegas. If you need more information about summertime health concerns or would like a physician referral, you can reach a registered nurse at any time by phone at (702) 880-2700. We also invite you to take a look through our hospital website for more important and helpful healthcare information.