Summer is in full swing and temperatures are rising. For those who love a good outdoor workout, summer can be a challenging time. We’ve already discussed how to protect yourself from the sun as you get in your exercise, but we wanted to explore another danger that athletes and fitness enthusiasts face in these months: overheating.
Heat-related illnesses are cause for concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates roughly 300 heat-related deaths a year. There are a few different types of heat illnesses including: heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash. Learn more about the differences of these heat-induced illnesses here.
Heat stroke, also known as a sun stroke, is the most severe form of heat-related illnesses and requires immediate medical attention. Heat stroke occurs when, due to prolonged high temperatures (or exercising in hot temperatures), your body temperature rises to 104 degrees F or higher. Heat stroke can damage internal organs including your brain or heart and can even be fatal.
Know the warning signs of heat stroke: (source: Mayo Clinic)
It’s important to take care of yourself when exercising in summer months. Make sure you properly hydrate, as dehydration can prevent you from being able to replenish the liquids lost during exercise. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before a workout, as both contribute to dehydration. Practice sun safety and be conscious of what time of day you’re exercising. Try to get your workout in during the early morning before the heat of the day, or later in the afternoon when the temperatures have dropped slightly from the midday heat.
Enjoy your summer, and your summer workouts, by being smart and keeping cool. Be aware of sun and heat-related illnesses and actively work to stay protected.
How do you regulate your body heat during your summer workouts? Do you still exercise outside or do you enjoy the A.C. in your home or local gym?