Well, summer is here and in full effect and the heat just keeps rising. For those exercising or playing sports in the heat and humidity, heat stroke is a subject you should be very aware of. Knowing the warning signs and how to prevent this possibly fatal diagnosis is key during these hot months.
If your body isn’t used to working out in the heat, you shouldn’t push yourself too hard on those humid days. Your body can sweat out 1-2 liters an hour, and if you’re not replacing that, it can lead to severe dehydration. This will cause your heart rate to increase and make your heart work harder than it should be. When dehydrated, it is also harder to stay focused and your body loses energy quicker, meaning you aren’t performing at your best. Make sure to drinking throughout your workout and even after!
What you wear is a big factor in keeping your body cool. Loose fitting clothes are better for you, as they let your body heat escape to try and cool down the body. Tight clothes just hold in the heat and can also prevent sweat evaporation. If you are cycling or playing sports that require helmets or heavy padding, remove them from time to time to decrease body temperature. This will make a huge difference in how you feel!
Pace yourself and don’t go all out, even if you feel that you’ll be fine. Ease into the workout and let your body try and get acclimated to the temperature. Taking lots of breaks during your workout is critical to keep the body from overheating. Find shade, rest and hydrate with cold drinks.
Early warning signs of heat stroke can include irritability, vomiting, goosebumps, hyperventilating and confusion. Decreasing the body temperature as soon as possible is extremely important to overcome heat stroke. The best way to do this is to submerge in an ice tub and let the body cool. Once the body temp has reached a safe level, see your doctor for medical help.
Know your body, trust how you feel and exercise safely this summer!