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Staying Cool in Summer
Summertime in Western Colorado offers some of
the best outside adventure in the world, whether it
is cycling across desert slick rock or rafting rag-
ing rivers, hiking remote trails or golfing groomed
links, we are blessed with an abundance of terrain
that lures folks of all ages to the great outdoors.
But the summer heat can cause serious problems
if you don¡¯t use caution and it¡¯s easy to get over-
heated before you realize you are in real trouble.
If you want to both increase your performance and
avoid heat related illness then try these tips when
working or playing in the heat.
Getting Overheated
When the ambient temperature rises above about
84 degrees, humans can no longer get rid of
excess heat by simply radiating heat to the sur-
rounding air. At this point our evaporative cooling
system, known as sweating, kicks in. As the liquid
sweat evaporates from the skin, heat is rapidly
removed from the body. In our dry desert climate
removing heat by sweating works quite well, and
when combined with some shade, or a breeze, one
can stay cool in extreme arid conditions.
With any activity heat naturally builds in the active
muscle until core body temperature starts to rise
and eventually muscle systems slow down or even
shut down when the internal temperature gets too
high. Extreme activity such as hill climbs on a bike
or sprinting during a game of tennis can increase
the body temperature very quickly.
Heat cramps occur when the body begins to over-
heat, and if not addressed, are followed by heat
exhaustion, with symptoms of nausea, excessive
sweating and feeling faint. Heatstroke happens
when the body temperature reaches about 104
degrees and presents with confusion, exhaustion
and absence of sweating. Heatstroke is an emer-
gency and if not treated promptly can damage the
brain, heart, kidneys and muscles, or even cause
Stay Cool
The first, and most obvious way to avoid heat re-
lated illness and improve physical performance
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in the heat is to stay well hydrated. One liter
of fluid per hour is about as much as we can
absorb through the gut, so that is about the
maximum amount one should drink per hour.
Plain water is just fine but with more extensive
sweating the addition of some salt and sugar
helps replenish salt lost in sweat and increase
the absorption of the water.
A simple hydration solution can be made by
mixing one liter or quart of water with 1-2 Tbs
sugar and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt. You can also add
a few scoops of protein powder to kick it up a
notch and help provide nutrients for rebuilding
muscle. Hydration drinks such as Gatorade and
many others are ok... but they typically contain
quite a bit more sugar and other weird stuff like
artificial flavoring and coloring.
Bright Colorado sunshine is something outdoor
enthusiasts dig on and is yet another culprit
in heat related illness. The more you can keep
the sun from directly striking your bare skin,
the more radiant heat you will avoid. Avoiding
sunburn is especially important, as the burn
itself causes inflammation and becomes another
source of heat.
Treat heat related illnesses by cooling the body
however possible. Getting into the shade, rest-
ing and hydration are the first simple priorities.
Wetting down the skin and allowing it to dry
repeatedly is great for pulling heat from the
body. Fanning the skin can speed up this cooling
technique. Applying cool packs or wet cloths to
vascular areas such as the neck, armpits and
groin is another cooling method. Bathing or
running hands and feet in cool water will lower
body temperature quickly.
To avoid heat related illness in the first place,
wear sun blocking clothing as able, cover bare
skin with sunblock, stay hydrated and pace
yourself, being aware of heat build up. If you
can, avoid working or playing in the extremes of
the midday sun and heat. Wet down your shirt
or hat repeatedly to add more evaporative cool-
ing. Rest, preferably in a breezy or shady spot,
before getting too hot. Above all, play hard and
stay cool.
(Scott Rollins, MD, is Board Certified with the
American Board of Family Practice and the
2014 August
Pg 6 - The Sunshine Express
Health & Nurturing
In Harmony
by Scott Rollins, M.D.
Bounia¡¯s Abundant Family
No family is ever perfect, and Bounia¡¯s fam-
ily was no different. This fact, however, never
stopped Bounia from suggesting improvements.
Aunt Mary did not cook - not one lick. This fact
never seemed to bother Uncle Willie, because
he and his family lived in the apartment upstairs
from Bounia and Aunt Anne¡¯s family. Two com-
pletely separate families with Bounia in charge.
When Bounia cooked, there was always plenty
for everyone. Adults and children could be found
around an upstairs dining table, or downstairs
at Bounia¡¯s (which in reality was Uncle Mickey¡¯s
and Aunt Anne¡¯s dining table).
Aunt Mary had a stove and fridge, but little skill
with connecting one to the other. Dinner meals
often consisted of a can opener for the beans,
and a pot to boil the hotdogs. Cold cereal was
another excellent choice, as well as doughnuts
and coffee, Dr. Pepper, bologna sandwiches,
canned soups, and pie. She was Italian and
beautiful, with long dark hair and a lovely olive
complexion. She was a ¡°looker¡±, but not a
I loved my Aunt and Uncle and my four cousins.
Sometimes on pie night, all the family would
gather ¡°upstairs¡± and sit around the table. Uncle
Willie would pull out the harmonica from his
shirt pocket, Dad would grab two soup spoons
and keep time on his thigh, holding the spoons
back to back between his large fingers. The rest
of us would sing all the words to whatever song
was played. Bounia would often appear at the
bottom of the stairs announcing whatever food
may have been left over from supper ¡°down-
stairs¡±, just in case anyone was still hungry.
We have not gotten to the abundant part yet.
Uncle Willie and Dad were often involved in
partnership to somehow earn a little extra or
have a little fun. They decided that as long as
my mother and Bounia each had a vegetable
garden, and Dad and Mom lived out in the coun-
try, and as long as we already had chickens and
rabbits, two little pigs would be fine for fatten-
ing up to have some pork and bacon in time. So
the purchase was made, a pen constructed, and
Pork and Bacon joined the family.
My brother and I were small tykes, cute as bugs
in a rug, and I know that my parents loved us
both very much. Mom did not work outside of
the home, so it was her lot to weed the garden,
feed the critters, cook the meals, care and feed
us, and feed Pork and Bacon. She was very
afraid of ¡°slopping the hogs¡± and devised a dia-
bolical method of getting the task accomplished.
She instructed us that if we stood on the other
side of the pen and called Pork and Bacon, we
could teach them a trick. Then, as soon as the
two hogs waddled over to my brother and me,
Mom would fill the trough with food, drop the
pail and run toward the gate, yelling at us to get
away from the pigs! (Child abuse had not yet
been invented)
Uncle Willie felt obliged to contribute to the care
and feeding of Pork and Bacon and called Dad
all excited that ¡°Aunt Mary had cleaned out her
pantry and there was food aplenty for Pork and
Bacon.¡± They would be by soon, cousins and all,
with enough food for the week. Mom¡¯s remark
by Sandy Lauzon