Why? For many reasons including more crowding outdoors with additional tourists, many more people active outdoors, increased personal activity with friends and family, events demanding more volunteer time, vacation – it’s a very long list.
Mainly, however, is the effect heat has on our bodies.
In the extreme, the body suffers from heatstroke. Think about symptoms of heatstroke: confusion, delirium, fainting, coma, irreversible injuries, and death – that’s the extreme – the brain is affected and, therefore, our ability to think.
Every day our body reacts to heat and the changes in barometric pressure. I’m sure you’ve noticed it in yourself and others – our thinking ability is not as sharp, our body seems to move more slowly, our temper is closer to the surface and our energy seems to be zapped from us more rapidly. We are more susceptible to headaches, joint aches, earaches and general irritability.
According to an article by Rudy Cote in a recent articles, “Beware of Heatwaves“, our bodies don’t always cope well with high temperatures especially if we are not conscious of our need to hydrate continuously during the day. A combination of humidity and heat can stop the ever so important evaporation from our bodies which is the body’s mechanism for keeping it cool; without the ability to evaporate through the skin, internal body temperatures rise.
The article outlines some effects of high heat include:
- skin irritations – small red spots on the face, neck and chest
- cramps – during and after exercise
- exhaustion – prolonged exercise in very hot weather can cause a collapse of the body’s cooling system which translates to profuse sweating, dizziness, intense thirst, blurred vision, nausea, headache and a body temperature rise to more than 99 degrees.
- syncope – dizziness and loss of consciousness because of a decrease of blood flow to the brain while a person is standing
We’ve all suffered to a lesser extent some of these effects. We can drink more water, not move as much, and stay in cooler environments to relieve the effects. High barometric pressure according to an article by Eric Bagal, Health Effects of High Barometric Pressure, causes small pressure changes in the fluid present in the brain. Yes, there is a real reason for the way we think – there is an effect on the brain’s p[hysical functionality.
Time management is really about managing your life. If your body is affected, then we can reason that everything in your life is also affected. When you’re managing your time in the summer or other periods when the outside temperature rises, take into account that your body has changed – you will need to account for that fact in managing your time – everything you do will likely take longer to accomplish which means reducing expectations about how much can be done in any given 24-hour period. We need to rest more, drink more fluids, reduce our exercise levels and eat more foods with high water content such as melons, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. and, of course, do what we can to avoid the serious effects on our bodies.
Summer is great and more than ever we must pay attention to our bodies and our time management; adjustments are required to avoid the extreme effects on our bodies – it does take more time.
Have a super summer!