Fitness Friday: How to Beat Late Summer Heat

Posted: August 30, 2013 by By The Numb3rs (BTN LLC) in Air Conditioning, Be cool, Exercise, Fitness, Friday Workouts, Healthy Living, Heat Advisory, Outdoor Gym, People, Quick Tips, Safety in high heat, Workouts
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Woman Drinking Water After ExerciseHere in my neck of the States, the weather has been super hot. The numbers on the thermometer are exacerbated by high humidity. Working out in such conditions can be risky if one is properly prepared, but keep in mind: low temps don’t necessarily mean you’ll be in a better place physically. 70 degrees with high humidity can still be dangerous.

Don’t find yourself in trouble before it’s too late. If the air which surrounds you is not cooler, or the sweat on your body isn’t evaporating to cool you off, your insides can cook – and your internal organs could begin to shut down.

How to tell you’re in trouble:

Nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, an altered mental state (i.e. rambling incoherently) are all signs of some type of heat illness – which can lead to heat stroke. Body temps can spike up to 105 degrees (or more), and if your body’s sweating mechanism shuts down – you’re at risk for heat stroke, which can result in death.

What to do:

Water, water, water – NOT caffeine loaded drinks, or sodas, or beer. Drink a quart of water before an outdoor workout or a run, and drink a quart after. Drink even if you’re not thirsty. Thirst does not make or break what your body may deal with.

Exercise smarter, not harder:

  • Runners: run between 4a.m. and 6a.m. Traffic is at it’s lightest and the air quality is best.
  • Wear light-colored, loose fitting, absorbent clothing. Try not to wear clothing that can stay wet (i.e. spandex or cotton clothing).
  • Avoid strenuous workouts, you can get overheated and dehydrated.
  • Carry a frozen water bottle in the back of your shorts.
  • Stick to shaded areas.
  • Exercise moderately (or 60-70% of your max heart rate).
  • Take breaks, walk.
  • In addition to drinking the quart of water prior to and after your workout, drink two cups every 20 minutes.
  • If the temps are over 90, workout at the gym where the AC keeps things cool.

If you (or your friend) find yourself in trouble:

  • Cool off fast! (Toss yourself in ice water if you can).
  • Cool, wet cloths.
  • Sips of water, shade.
  • Lie down, elevate the feet, get in front of a fan.
  • If you are fire hot, and rambling like a confused mad man, call 911.
  • The goal is to lower the body temperature as quickly as possible.

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