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Personal Health : HEALTH WATCH : Some Hot Tips for Surviving the Swelter

August 17, 1993

If you're working outdoors, the best--and most natural--way to keep cool these days is to sweat. What are some of the next best ways?

* Work easier and less.

* Drink plenty of liquids, preferably cold water. "Cold water doesn't cause cramps--that's an old wives' tale," says Dr. Bill Howard, director of the Sports Medicine Center at Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore. Cold water is more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and it cools off your body "core," he says.

* Wear clothing that is lightweight, light-colored cotton.

* Beware of symptoms: If you feel really hot, have cramps in your calves or abdomen, feel nauseated or maybe a little confused, that means you you're getting overheated and you need to knock off. Relax and cool off.

* Work in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler and the sun is not such a big factor.

* When the day is done, cool down thoroughly.

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