July 11, 2016

Can you take the heat?

When it gets hot outside, can you take the heat? It can be difficult to exercise outside during the summer. When taking your run or fitness routine outdoors, be aware of these conditions that may occur as a result.

The first is heat exhaustion. This is when the heat has depleted your body of water or salts, and you’ve essentially become dehydrated. Common symptoms include confusion, dark brown urine, headache, cramps, a rapid heartbeat, nausea, and pale skin. If you experience these symptoms, immediately stop what you’re doing, rest, and get to a cool place. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine, which will also dehydrate you. Drink plenty of water. If your symptoms do not diminish within 15 minutes, go to a doctor.

Heat stroke is another concern. This occurs when your body has a higher temperature of 104 to 105. This is a life-threatening condition where you can run the risk of brain damage. You may experience seizures, fainting, dizziness, or fatigue. Get your body cooled down very quickly, even by possibly submerging yourself in water. Get into an air conditioned area and then go to a hospital for treatment.

Sunburns are also common when you spend an extended amount of time outside. This could include first, second, and third degree burns. Aloe vera can help with first and second degree burns, but third degree burns are more serious and need to be seen by a physician. With both second and third degree burns, a risk of infection is present. If you notice yourself getting a sunburn, find some shade. Repeat damage and exposure to the sun can also cause skin cancer. Find a healthy sunscreen free of toxins and use it often.

Hot weather is not an excuse not to exercise. You can opt to move your routine indoors or continue outside. If you can take the heat, stay aware of what’s happening with your body, hydrate often, and protect your skin from the sun while exercising outside.

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