Summer weather has begun, and it's that time of the year when everyone runs from one air-conditioned place to another. Those most at risk of heat-related illnesses are people older than 65, the very young, the obese and those with blood- or sweat-related illnesses or taking certain medications. This includes people with low blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, dehydration or malnutrition. This risk is especially high when air conditioning is unavailable for long periods of time and during heat waves.

When outdoors, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Try to avoid drinks with large amounts of caffeine, alcohol or sugar because they can inhibit your body's cooling process. Start drinking before you get thirsty. When temperatures get extremely high, make sure to go someplace cool, out of the heat. Even a few hours of air conditioning per day can prevent heat stroke. If you exercise outside, try to do it during the coolest part of the day. Wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing, including wide-brimmed hats.

Those working outside, exercising or participating in strenuous activity, such as sports or gardening for an hour or more during intense heat, may lose or sweat up to two quarts of water. You lose salt when you sweat, so make sure that you take in electrolytes to help maintain your hydration.

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees or higher in 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Heat-related deaths occur mostly when high temperatures overcome the body's natural ability to cope with heat.

The following are some tips on beating the heat:

* Drink plenty of water. Fluid replacement is crucial to avoid heat risks. Drink more water than usual before exercising or working in the heat.

* Schedule your strenuous activity during the coolest part of the day.

* Monitor how you feel. If you feel difficulty maintaining your regular pace, slow down.

* If you can, stay indoors when the heat index is above 100 degrees.

Thanks for help

This year, 2012, is the 40th anniversary of Meals on Wheels in Garden City. Many thanks to the Church of the Brethren volunteers and Duane Riley who delivered Meals on Wheels last week.

Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels? Substitute drivers are always needed. If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Scheduled activities

Thursday, the TOPS Club will meet at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercise begins at 11 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Craft Shop check-in/out is from 10 a.m. to noon. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Fiddlers, Pickers Singers will be here beginning at 5 p.m.

Monday begins with walking at 8:30 a.m. The Humdinger Band practices at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle begins at 12:30 p.m. The Upbeats Band practices at 3 p.m. Duplicate bridge begins at 7 p.m.

Tuesday has gentle exercises at 11 a.m. Pitch begins at 12:30 p.m. Bridge starts at 1:15 p.m.

July 4 the senior center and Finney County Transit are closed for the holiday. Services resume Thursday at the regular time.

Lunch menu

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, broccoli, wheat roll, brownie.

Friday: Chili or beef stew, tossed salad, crackers, cinnamon roll, apricots.

Monday: Hamburgers, tri-tators, deli fixin's, bun, peaches.

Tuesday: Tahitian chicken, scalloped potatoes, creamed peas and carrots, wheat roll, fruit mix and marshmallows.

July 4: Closed for the holiday.

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