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Heatstroke Prevention: Acclimating to the Heat

Topic Overview

Acclimation helps you remain active in a hot environment with less risk of a heat-related illness. You can acclimate yourself to a hot environment by gradually increasing the amount of time you exercise in the heat each day. Do this over 8 to 14 days. Adults usually need daily exercise periods that last 1 to 2 hours to become acclimated. Children need 10 to 14 days to acclimate.

You can also start acclimating while in cooler environments by wearing more clothing when exercising. This will raise the body temperature, which helps the body start sweating.

Acclimation helps you sweat for a longer time at a lower body temperature. Although this increases the amount you sweat, it decreases the amount of salt you lose in sweat or urine.

Related Information

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Lipman GS, et al. (2013). Wilderness Medical Society practice guidelines for the prevention and treatment of heat-related illness. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 24(4): 351–361.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as of June 4, 2014

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