Seizing every opportunity to be under the sun!
Sunstroke: how to recognize and prevent it.


The key phrase is: slow down!

Nature has blossomed. The clear sky, the clean air, and the calm rumbling of the streams are all elements that naturally hush our minds from the rushed work days. Speaking of which the mountains offer an effective ally that guarantees to help regenerate and rediscover psycho-physical balance to even those dealing with a lot of stress.

During the warmest months of the year the mountain side has indisputable benefits for the body: at a cardio-respiratory level (due to the dry and less polluted air); at a musculoskeletal level (for the increased outdoor physical activity); and at a neurological level (through meditation and contemplation inevitably practiced due to lack of people and audio-visual chaos, which are found in the city).

In the last edition we focused our attention on the damage light reflecting on snow could cause to eyesight. During summertime the dangers in the high-altitude mountain area are hyperthermia and heat exhaustion. The main symptom is an abnormal increase in body temperature caused by an excessive and prolonged exposure to the sun. The latter being provoked mainly by outdoor physical activity and dehydration.

How can we recognize hyperthermia? The most common symptoms are: hot in the face; headache; fever; nausea; a sensation of pressure in the chest area; and convulsions. In the worst cases we remind you to contact a health officer.

If a person happens to be mildly sunstroke your main objective should be to cool down the effected person. Allow them to lay down in a shaded and cool area, and try to make them drink some fresh water, possibly not too cold. The norm would be to then wet the person with icepacks in order to lower as much as possible their body temperature. It is necessary, therefore, to apply some reasonable healthcare rules each time you go hiking or do outdoor activity, specifically in this high-altitude environment. Cover your head with hats or scarfs; wear light-colored or sheer clothing; hydrate yourself regularly avoiding alcoholic beverages; take breaks frequently; and rest under shaded areas as soon as possible.Please avoid taking walks and/or climbing during the hottest hours of the day.

The most important rules are to dialogue with your body, listen to it and assist it during all the seasons and in life.

Enjoy your summer stay!