RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As we get closer to triple digit temperatures, heat-related illnesses become a big concern if you’re spending time outdoors.

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside over the next few days, know the signs for heat exhaustion.

Doctors say if you start feeling muscle cramps, sweating profusely or feeling weak or lightheaded, get to the air conditioning or shade immediately and start drinking water. If you ignore the signs, that could progress into a heat stroke, which can be deadly.

As your body gets acclimated to the heat, doctors tell CBS 17 pre-hydrating, loose clothing and breaks are crucial.

“Don’t think ‘you know, I’ll get through to my normal lunch break before I take a break.’ You’re going to have to take a water break into the shade. And I hope that most people who are in management and these sorts of positions would understand that this is something that you have to do,” said Dr. John Purakal, emergency medicine physician with Duke Health.

Dr. Purakal tells CBS 17 not all water is made equal. Cold water is best because that’ll lower your core body temperature quicker than room temperature water. 

Ice packs on forehead and under your arms can also help you cool down.