picture of hot weather exercise

So summer is finally here in a big way and those of us in the Midwest embrace these months with a passion unseen in other milder parts of the country. As you take more and more of you workouts outside be aware that at times the heat can be just as dangerous as the cold. Here are two conditions to watch out for and some tips to keep you safe.

Heat Exhaustion:
Heat exhaustion is a condition whose symptoms may include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse, a result of your body overheating. Heat exhaustion is caused by exposure to high temperatures, particularly when combined with high humidity, and strenuous physical activity. Without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke.

Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that occurs when your body temperature reaches 104 F (40 C) or higher. Heatstroke can be brought on by high environmental temperatures, by strenuous physical activity or by other conditions that raise your body temperature.

For Both Conditions Watch For The Following:

  • Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
  • Heavy sweating (then no sweating)
  • Faintness
  • Feeling Dizzy or Light Headed
  • Fatigue
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Low blood pressure upon standing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache

If you Experience these symptoms do the following:

  • Rest in a cool place. Once there rest on your back with your legs elevated higher than your heart level.
  • Drink cool fluids. Stick to water or sports drinks. Don't drink any beverages that have alcohol or caffeine.
  • Apply cool water to your skin. If possible, take a cool shower or soak in a cool bath. Don't use alcohol on your skin.
  • Loosen clothing. Remove any unnecessary clothing and make sure your clothes are lightweight and nonbinding.

If you don't begin to feel better within 60 minutes of using these treatment measures, seek prompt medical attention.

Be careful and remember you can always head indoors for your workout on high heat and humid days. Put in your time in on the bike, treadmill or elliptical in a cool air-conditioned place then go out and safely enjoy less strenuous activity outdoors in the sun.

For more information on hot weather exercise click here.