Archive for April 22nd, 2008

Outdoor Safety: Heatstroke Risk

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texans with a passion for the outdoors may put themselves at risk for heat related illnesses this summer when the sun’s heat is at its most relentless.

But it’s not just the heat that puts Texans at risk. Brian Farr, the director for athletic training education at the University of Texas, explains…

It’s actually the temperature and humidity combination. One of the few ways that we dissipate heat is by sweating. If the humidity is very high, you’ll sweat but it won’t cool off and evaporate. And available on the internet are temperature guidelines. It actually puts you into different zones. There’s a white zone, it is safe, a yellow zone – be cautious and a red zone – you shouldn’t have activity at all.

Other factors increase the risk.

People, who aren’t used to the heat in Texas, aren’t used to exercising in that heat. So one of the easiest things to do is just get acclimated. Light exercise, gradually increasing so that you know that you’re ready for it and doing so in the heat. A lot of people, they’ll ride the bike or run inside of a gym where its nice and cool and then think that’s good enough, I’m training for the outside. So being acclimated. People who are overweight with body fat and even people who are heavily muscled, those are big insulators.

Farr also says that being hydrated, wearing proper clothing and getting enough sleep can help lower your risk.

More information about heat related illnesses at

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.