Special Report: How to beat the heat

Special Report: How to beat the heat
Ebel checked Wright's vitals again. After running another lap, he was much hotter and sweating even worse.  (Source: WALB)
Ebel checked Wright's vitals again. After running another lap, he was much hotter and sweating even worse.  (Source: WALB)
"Use some common sense. Hydrate. Take frequent breaks," said Ebel. (Source: WALB)
"Use some common sense. Hydrate. Take frequent breaks," said Ebel. (Source: WALB)
If you stop sweating at any point, get help immediately. (Source: WALB)
If you stop sweating at any point, get help immediately. (Source: WALB)
Paramedic Supervisor Steve Ebel measured Wright's blood pressure, heart rate and pulse for a baseline before he ran. (Source: WALB)
Paramedic Supervisor Steve Ebel measured Wright's blood pressure, heart rate and pulse for a baseline before he ran. (Source: WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Summertime in South Georgia can frequently bring temperatures past 100 degrees.

In the face of dangerous heat, WALB's Wright Gazaway put his body through some rigorous tests with emergency medical technicians on hand, and got solid advice anyone can use.

Here's what happened.

Putting his body to the test

Paramedic Supervisor Steve Ebel measured Wright's blood pressure, heart rate and pulse for a baseline before he ran.

He ran the mile in temperatures around 85 degrees.

When he got back, sweat was nearly completely covering his body.

"That's part of the body's response as far as cooling down also, but you got to realize with this heat, it's evaporating off your skin that much quicker," said Ebel.

Wright's blood pressure was up significantly in the 8 minutes it took him to run.

The most significant way to stay safe though happens well before you even get outside.

"That's important - not just hydrating during but hydrating well before?" asked Wright.

"Well before. Like if you knew you were going to come out and do this run, last night you should've started drinking a lot," said Ebel.

Hydrate before. Well before.

"I would definitely drink a good one or two Gatorades that night before and that way you'll at least have it in your system again," said Ebel.

Five minutes later, Ebel checked Wright's vitals again. After running another lap, he was much hotter and sweating even worse.

His blood pressure and heart rate went back.

Ebel said that the excess sweat was the body's attempt to cool down.

A big key, he said, was to listen to your body. If you feel hot go cool down.

"Get in the shade. It'll be a 5 degree difference. It'll be a big difference. Hydrate some more while you're doing and then finish your job that you're doing," Ebel suggests.

Sweat is an integral part to cooling off.

If you stop sweating at any point, get help immediately.

"You need to be in the shower, hydrating. You'll start cramping up shortly thereafter," said Ebel.

But the biggest thing Ebel suggests is just to not over think it.

"Use some common sense. Hydrate. Take frequent breaks. Cool yourself off, and you should be fine," he said.

Wright admitted that even as a runner, he forgot to take water. You should hydrate not only before and after, but also during activities.

Ebel said you should also keep an eye on the elderly as they overheat much easier.

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