Hot Summers: Heat and Humidity

Health Watch is a public service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


We're in the middle of summer, and this week on Health Watch, we'll talk about some things you need to keep in mind to handle the heat and other summer hazards.

When it comes to summer weather, sometimes it's not the heat, it's the humidity that gets to you. Dr. Peter Snell, a physiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says that's because humidity interferes with the body's cooling mechanism. Your body cools itself through the evaporation of sweat, and when the weather is humid, sweat doesn't evaporate as readily.

When it's hot and humid outside, exercises that promote airflow, such as cycling or skating, may be good alternatives to jogging or walking. The airflow will help the sweat to evaporate and keep you cooler.

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July 2006

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