I don't want to go all "After-School Special" on you here, but even though summer's coming to an end there doesn't seem to be any sign of the heat abating in many parts of Canada and the U.S.
I'm a casual tennis fan. I enjoy watching once in a while and I don't play as much as I'd like to (I have a wicked backhand slice if I do say so myself). That interest led me to this article, which discusses a scary scene at the U.S. open that saw Victoria Azarenka collapse and fall mid-match during a routine point. The reason hasn't been determined officially — and it could be something far more complicated — but heat appears to be a factor.
Add to that any one of a handful of media reports showing how oppressive the heat has been. From reports in publications like Maclean's magazine stating that this is one of the hottest summers on record, or the fact that Toronto is, as we speak, in its third day of 30+ degree heat, you can't turn to a news outlet without hearing about the about the heat. The old adage may state that "We all talk about the weather, but no one does anything about it" the truth is we can do something about it — or at least how we deal with it.
The simple fact is that we don't recognize the dangers of extreme heat until it's too late. There's a saying that states, "by the time you're thirsty, it's already too late." Your body is experiencing dehydration and it can result in anything from minor problems to death.
It's bad enough for adults — it's even worse for kids because they're less aware of their bodies and dehydration is a foreign concept. It's a little better nowadays — my kids have always come in for water when they're playing and carry water bottles with them at the park or on class trips. In my youth, I remember going out first thing in the morning and playing baseball until the sun went down. Stopping for water? Yeah, right.
It doesn't even have to be extreme heat. And it can happen to people who should know better. In fact, a couple of years ago I was MCing an event for my old high school. It wasn't all that hot, it was late summer/early fall, but I spent about 10 hours standing on top of a parking structure, exposed to the sun, announcing a couple of football games and narrating the festivities. I had a couple of bottles of water during the day, but when I came home I had a splitting headache. I ended up really sick and was knocked out for a couple of days until I properly rehydrated myself. Suffice to say, I take proper precautions now.
So what are those precautions? Click here for Health Canada's Extreme Heat Events on-line guide (thanks to Amway Canada's TQS' Jacqui for the link). In addition to common-sense precautions like staying in air-conditioned environments and reducing activity during hot weather, there's one major point that we should all take to heart — drink lots of water. Drink it before you're active, during, and after. And if you're sweating profusely, you may want to drink something that has extra salt in it.
While it's true that we have a number of great products to help you stay hydrated — especially as part of our NUTRILITE(R) Sports Nutrition line and Perfect Empowered Drinking Water(TM) — the fact is that this is an issue that goes well beyond commerce. Sure, we'd love for you to buy these products and support your local independent business owner, but in the end we want you and your family to be healthy, regardless of what you choose.
The title of this blog post, in keeping with my Canadian music theme, may be light-hearted, but this post isn't. Please take care of yourselves and share the message with your friends, family, and associates. Heat and dehydration are serious issues.
In fact, they can be deadly serious.
All the best,