Matt Mund is the owner and founder of Mission Fitness. He is dedicated to helping his clients of all fitness levels achieve their personal goals
STAYING SAFE IN HOT WEATHER
Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor, just a personal trainer. These are basic tips, info, etc. Seek professional advice for more detailed info.
It seems like we could have a hot and humid summer ahead of us. Yesterday temperatures soared into the 90′s, yet we still had 21 bootcampers ready to work hard!
Although we always preach ”become comfortable with uncomfortable”, with these extreme temperatures you have to balance hard work and being smart. Here are some tips for working out in the heat and warning signs of heat related sickness.
Tips for Avoiding Heat Related Illnesses:
HYDRATE: If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If your urine is bright yellow, you are probably dehydrated. Drinks lots of water before, during, and after your workout
AVOID HOTTEST TIMES: Working out before 10am and after 3pm is the best thing to do if you are worried about the heat. Working out during the hottest times of the day require extra caution.
DRESS APPROPRIATELY: Wear light colored, light weight clothing which allows your body to breath and cool itself. Dri-Fit clothing is best, as it wicks moisture away from your skin so cooling and evaporation can occur.
BE SMART: Don't be a hero. Educate yourself on signs and symptoms (below) of heat related sickness and know and listen to your body. Extreme heat is not the time to push yourself past your limits, as it can be extremely harmful, and may even cause death.
UNDERSTANDING HOW HEAT AFFECTS YOUR BODY:
When exercising in warm weather, our body temperature rises more than usual. In response, your body releases more blood to circulate through your skin. This will cause an increased heart rate, due to less blood circulated to your muscles. In extremely humid weather the sweat is unable to evaporate from your skin, causing your body temperature to increase. All of this could lead to heat related issues, listed below.
Heat Cramps: Dehydration and exerting yourself in the heat can lead to muscles cramping in the legs, arms, and abdomen. These cramps usual occur after several hours of exercises and sweating, causing loss of electrolytes (containing salt, potassium, magnesium, calcium)
Heat Exhaustion: A more serious illness, causing your body temperature to rise as high as 104 F. These could lead to weakness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, fainting, and cold, pale and clammy skin. Left untreated, this could lead to heat stroke.
Heat Stroke: The most serious of the three, this life threatening issue happens when the body temperature rises above 104F. The skin may be hot to the touch, and you may stop sweating, as the body tries to cool itself. Irritability, odd behavior, delusions and confusion may occur. These neurological effects differentiate heat stroke from heat exhaustion. It is very important to seek help immediately, as in most extreme cases heat stroke can lead to death.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THESE ILLNESSES:
Immediately stop the activity and remove yourself from the heat. Find some shade or an air conditioned environment. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non caffeinated beverages. Remove all possible clothing, and if possible take a cool shower or pour cool water over you. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention, as it could lead to heat stroke.