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Staying Cool Under The Sun All Adds Up To Shade

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jeff Ray
Jeff joined CBS 11 and TXA 21 in December 2010. He came to North T...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Avoiding direct sunlight is just one part of solid advice in dealing with this heat. How about turning that into a fashion tip?

You can turn your umbrella into a parasol; Para meaning to stop, sol meaning sun.

Why should you carry an umbrella on a clear day? Not to protect you from the rain we can only wish for.  But to protect a different source of water…your water.

Elevated temperatures can pose a significant risk to health, but doing some math can help you beat the heat.

One of the biggest dangers of a heat wave is the increased risk of dehydration.

60% of an adult’s body weight is water. The biggest immediate threat from heat is dehydration. Obviously limiting your exposure to the sun reduces this risk.

Look at the math.

On Wednesday the reading at the National Weather Service in Fort Worth measured the sun at 935 watts per square meter. You can translate that to calories of heat. In calories of heat your body is exposed to one-point-six million calories per hour. The math says stay out of the sun.

Your body has to maintain its internal temperature of 98.6 degrees. It takes blood and sweat to keep you cool. The sweat evaporates and cools your skin, then your blood circulating from your skin to your organs helps cool you down inside.  You burn about 90 calories an hour to keep your body cool.

When you are walking outside, you expose about 2 square meters of yourself to the sun. That means your body is absorbing about 2700 watts of the sun’s energy, which can drain your own energy.

But it’s not the heat…it’s the water. Your body reacts to heat by sweating. In other words, giving up what is absolutely precious to life itself: its own water.

Shade keeps you out of the heat. But what you really save is your water. You’ll have to drink almost four times more of it in direct sunlight.

In a field study done at an Iowa fair, the average difference between sun and shade was 27.5 degrees.

So carrying your shade with you reduces the heat, and should be part of your summer dress code.  Add in light colored and loose fitting clothing and a water bottle. Call is a parasol, or just call it an umbrella, but either way stay cool.

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