BLACK FLAG DAYS AT CORPS FITNESS
In hot, humid conditions, especially if there is a heat advisory in effect, we have a BLACK FLAG DAY at Corps Fitness. Every CFer needs to be aware of the special considerations to take during days like this. You will get extra breaks for water and to cool down, but please come prepared, listen to your body, and scale / step out accordingly. Here’s how the military does it.
Image source: nhpr.org
Be smart about working out in the heat! If you experience any symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, STOP WORKING OUT AND TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION.
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.
- Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
- Throbbing headache
- High body temperature
- Slurred speech
Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke:
- Call 911.
- Move the sick person to a cool shaded area.
- Cool the person using methods such as:
- Soaking their clothes with water.
- Spraying, sponging, or showering them with water.
- Fanning their body.
Avoid exposure to extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible. When these exposures cannot be avoided, take the following steps to prevent heat stress:
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton.
- Avoid non-breathing synthetic clothing.
- Gradually build up to heavy work.
- Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day.
- Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity.
- Take breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible.
- Drink water frequently. Drink enough water that you never become thirsty.
- Approximately 1 cup every 15-20 minutes.
- Avoid alcohol, and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar.
- Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment may increase the risk of heat stress.
- Monitor your physical condition and that of those around you.