Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 55

55

F

or every ice cream there is a sunburn.
For every refreshing swim there are
inconvenient pit stains. For every
joyful boat ride there is a broken
A/C in rush-hour traffic.
Such is the dichotomy of summertime in
the South. Standing in equal polarity are those
who thrive on sunshine and tank tops and
those who wait in eager anticipation of fall's
cool relief.
Regardless of your disposition toward the
year's hottest season, Georgians know the true
scourge of summer is humidity-that thick,
sticky presence in the air that makes you feel
like a steamed vegetable. No matter the temperature, on summer's most humid days, it's
as if there is nothing you can do to cool off
and escape the permeating heat.
As it turns out, that's because your body
has a far more difficult time regulating its
temperature on muggy days.
Though the presence of sweat may be
inconvenient at times, perspiration is the
single most important tool the body uses to
help regulate temperature. The cooling effect
of sweat actually comes when the air has dried
it from our skin. When the air around us is
already saturated with humidity, the warm
moisture that has accumulated on our skin
stays there-which makes us feel even hotter.

PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

CHECK THE INDEX

This is why meteorologists developed the heat
index-to give a more accurate representation
of the heat's impact on our bodies when factored in with humidity levels on a given day.
This is incredibly important, as heat index is
the prevailing determining factor for a person's
risk of suffering from a heat disorder.
To put this into context, you have the same
risk of developing a heat disorder on an
88-degree day with high humidity as you do
on a 105-degree day with low humidity.
Heat disorders should not be taken lightly.
Symptoms of hyperthermia (extremely high
body temperature) range from fatigue and
dehydration to fainting and heatstroke, the
latter of which can be fatal.
Beyond the immediate health risks of overexposure to heat and humidity together, there
is research that shows humidity can affect
brain chemistry. Although seasonal affective
disorder is commonly associated with the cold
and gloomy winter months, there appears to

be an increase in reports of the disorder
during particularly muggy summers.
Symptoms include depression, anxiety and,
in some cases, thoughts of suicide.

BEAT THE HEAT (AND HUMIDITY)

Whether you're out enjoying the summer sun
or suffering in it, be sure to follow these tips
to stay cool.
1. Dress light. Wear light-colored clothing
to help reflect heat and sunlight and lightweight clothing to let your body breathe and
help sweat evaporate.
2. Take it easy. Limit physical activity to
help reduce body heat. More strenuous activities should be avoided altogether.
3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water
throughout the day. Higher temperatures and
sweating mean your body needs more water,
especially in humid conditions.
4. Stay cool. Avoid the outdoors during
the hottest time of day when possible (11 a.m.
to 3 p.m.). If you must be outside, be sure to
intermittently spend time in air conditioning
or cooler environments.
5. Wear sunscreen. Sunburn increases your
temperature while debilitating your body's
ability to cool off.
Most importantly, always remember to
check the heat index each day before your
outdoor adventures-temperature alone
cannot accurately predict your risk of developing heat-related illness. *

If You're
Concerned
About Your
Health
Rising temperatures are
not the only risk factor
for heat-related illnesses.
Age, weight and other
health issues should also
be considered. Speak to a
Northside Hospital primary
care doctor to go over any
limitations or concerns you
should be aware of so you
can be safe in the summer
sun. Visit northside.com/
gwinnettprimary to find an
expert physician near you.

Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can occur when the body loses the ability to
cool and regulate itself.
If you witness these symptoms or experience them yourself, stop physical
activity immediately and move to a cooler environment. Do everything you can
to lower your body temperature.
Heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, which is a medical emergency
and can be fatal. For heatstroke symptoms, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
Heat Exhaustion
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Headache
Bodily fatigue and weakness
Nausea and vomiting
Cool or clammy skin
Dark urine

Heatstroke
Rapid and shallow breathing
Rapid and weak pulse
Fever above 104 degrees
Red skin that is dry and hot
Confusion or erratic behavior
Seizures or unconsciousness

VIM & VIGOR SUMMER 2020

FdVVSU2080_54-55_Humidity.indd 55

3/31/20 9:25 PM


https://www.gwinnettmedicalgroup.com/primary-care/primary-care-home-page https://www.gwinnettmedicalgroup.com/primary-care/primary-care-home-page

Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC

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Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 4
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 5
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 6
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 8
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 12
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 16
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 17
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 18
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 19
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 20
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 21
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 23
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 25
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 26
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 27
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 28
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 29
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 30
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 31
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 32
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 33
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 35
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 36
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 37
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 38
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 39
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 40
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 41
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 42
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 43
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 44
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 45
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 46
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 47
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 48
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 49
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 50
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 51
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 52
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 53
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 54
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 55
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 56
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2014summer-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2014spring-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2013winter-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2013fall-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2013summer-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2013spring-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2012winter-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2012fall-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2012summer-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2012spring-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2011winter-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2011fall-gmc
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