ST. LOUIS — A week can make a big difference when it comes to St. Louis weather, but the problem is our bodies don’t adjust as quickly as the weather changes. 

Adjusting to the heat takes time, time that we don’t have this week. With only three days in the 80s for the entire month of April, summer is suddenly arriving this week. It’s a bit earlier than what’s considered normal. 

For Luke Wagstaff, a foreman with Kleeschulte Concrete, Inc., they’re still pouring three jobs a day. But now, it means working in hotter weather. 

“You’re used to doing one thing when it’s cold, and then all of a sudden it snaps and turns hot. It’s hard to keep up with it and change things around, but we’ve got a good crew, a good group of guys,” said Wagstaff. 

For these workers, taking care of themselves is just as crucial as the task on hand. 

“Those important workers are going to have some struggles this week, and I think they’re going to have to really make sure that they stay hydrated, that they are listening to their bodies,” said Rachel Tarr, a physician’s assistant with SSM Health Medical Group in St. Charles. 

Tarr said our bodies need time to get used to the sudden changes. 

“Because we’re moving into summer so quickly, I think we all need to remember that our bodies haven’t had a chance to accommodate or acclimate to the heat. In August, we will have all gotten used to this,” she said. 

Acclimating to the heat can take several weeks of being outside regularly and gradually increasing the intensity of work. 

“Because we haven’t had that heat acclimation, we haven’t gotten used to things. It’s going to be a shock to our system, and I think some people may struggle more than they think they might,” Tarr said. 

When spending time outside this week, give your body a chance to cool off in any way you can. 

“That’s staying hydrated, that’s seeking shade, wearing good clothing that can wick away moisture,” she said. 

Additionally, realize you may not be able to do as much as you could when the weather was cooler. 

“I think any kind of physical exertion, people need to be aware that they may not be able to do it to the capacity they could even just last week or early in the morning, in the middle of the day,” said Tarr. “They’re just going to have to be cautious and listen to their bodies.”

Also, remember that our skin is not used to the stronger sun either, and we can burn easier and faster this time of year.