Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
A common theme throughout Twentynine Palms is the seemingly unbearable sun. To add to the already extreme heat conditions of the desert, it’s summer time. The temperatures will rise far above what we see the rest of the year.
This fluctuation does not mean a stop in Marine Corps training or our daily life, but requires adaption in order to prevent injury or harm to ourselves. Whether in the field or in garrison, Marines find ways to stay cool and stay safe.
Many people don’t understand the amount of water they need to battle the heat. It is very important to stay hydrated. Even more is needed during exercise or training when you are sweating.
“You need to stay hydrated to keep your electrolytes in balance,” said Capt. Marcilno Ryan, emergency medical services, Combat Center fire department. “It’s what keeps your body going.”
Keep water nearby and sip throughout the day, even when you’re not thirsty. Waiting until you are thirsty means you’re behind on your water intake. A good rule of thumb: water, water and more water.
“Don’t drink energy drinks,” said Ryan. “They are high in caffeine and dehydrate you faster.”
Heat can prove to be fatal. More than 70 percent of the energy produced by our bodies is released through heat. Limit your exposure to the sun. Stay in the shade. It is almost impossible to stay inside all the time. If you plan on a long run or strenuous exercise, wait until night when the air is cooler and you are less prone to heat injuries.
“Stay out of the sun if possible,” Ryan said. “Cover your skin to prevent exposing your skin to the elements.”
Exposure to the sun without proper hydration can cause heat injuries. Heat injuries fall into three categories: heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms and learn to recognize them in yourself and others.