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There is a time to be macho and a time to be smart

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By Ben Hyatt

When the heat index says 100 degrees, remember that water is your friend.
Being a former participant of summer sports and activities, I never went a complete summer where I didn’t hear, “Go water up” or “You need to slow down and go drink some water.”
Being younger at the time, I used to get so frustrated when someone kept hounding me about the importance of drinking water when the heat index was nearing 100 degrees.
I didn’t want to stop and take a drink of water. When you stopped playing, that was time wasted, in my opinion.
Now that I am a little older and a bit more wise, I now understand the importance of keeping fluids in your body especially during physical activity.
I am sure that high school athletes have been schooled on the side affects of not keeping fluids in your system while playing, but just in case you all forgot here are a few:
Cramping, dizziness, high heart rate, headaches and in some cases even death.
I know every “macho man” athlete is saying to himself that it will never happen to me, but in cases where practice goes on in abnormally high temperatures, you simply should never say never.
A word of advice to all the young athletes, especially our football players: Never let someone sway you from taking extra precautions in your safety. It’s your body and you’re responsible for knowing how to take care of it.
When you feel your body acting a little funny, chances are it is telling you that something wrong.
According to Harrison County athletic director Brad Allison, when the heat index reaches between 95 and 99 degrees, there should be a mandatory water break every 30 minutes.
Allison also said if the heat index ever reaches above 104 degrees, then you should suspend all outside activities until the index drops below 104 degrees.
This advice should be considered by anyone who is outside for extended amounts of time.
Remember it is always easier to take a few extra moments to water up and keep from landing yourself in the back of an ambulance from a heat stroke.