Feeling the Heat

Understanding heat-related illnesses that result from summer workouts.

As warmer weather settles in, we all want to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. But if you’re planning a workout, be aware that the extra heat puts more stress on your body. You’ll want to take extra steps to avoid heat-related illnesses.

Here’s how it works. When your body starts to get too hot, it sends blood up to your skin where it can be cooled by evaporating sweat. But this leaves less blood for the muscles you’re working out. That in turn makes your heart work harder, increasing your heart rate. And when humidity is really high, your sweat doesn’t cool you as quickly, so your core temperature soars. It’s a cardiovascular double whammy, leading to dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

Let’s take a look at these illnesses and their symptoms:

Heat cramps – painful muscle spasms

Exercise-associated collapse – dizziness or fainting after a long workout or long periods of standing or sitting in the heat

Heat exhaustion – headache, weakness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, sweating and clammy skin

Heat stroke – potentially life threatening, symptoms can include confusion, dizziness, nausea, visual problems and heart rhythm issues

As you can see there are quite a range of symptoms. Do not ignore these issues. If left untreated, heat-related illnesses can become medical emergencies in a hurry.

This doesn’t mean you can’t exercise if the sun’s out. It just means you need to take some extra care when you do.

Check the temperature
Look at the forecast and see what the temperatures are expected to be during your activity.

Dress for success
Loose fitting clothing gives sweat a chance to cool your body, and a hat can help protect you from the sun’s rays.

Start slow
Don’t go too hard on day one. Start slowly and let your body adapt to the heat over days or weeks.

Stay hydrated
Sweating uses a lot of fluids. Drink plenty of water and consider a sports drink to replenish the electrolytes you burn while exercising.

Now you know how to beat the heat and keep up those exercise routines. Stay healthy this summer, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Source
Male runner drinking water.

Subscribe to BlueNews

Get great tips for healthy living, plus the latest news about our benefits, wellness resources, and rewards programs.

You might also like:

Woman in bathing cap and goggles in swimming pool

Creative Ways to Work Out Outside the Gym

Read Article
Woman stand up paddleboarding on lake

5 Alternatives to Traditional Outdoor Exercise

Read Article
Woman applying sunscreen to shoulder

4 Precautions for Summer Exercise

Read Article

We use cookies on this website to give you the best experience and measure website usage. By continuing to use this website, you consent to these cookies.
For more information, view our privacy policy.

X