/Hot hot hot 

Hot hot hot 

By Laurie Sweig

been hot this summer. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many heat
warnings on my weather app. In February we dream of this kind of
weather but now that it’s here we are experiencing a full dose of how
uncomfortable it can be. In addition to the discomfort, this type of
heat can be dangerous especially if you’re exerting yourself by working
or exercising in it.
There are three health risks of prolonged
exposure to heat. In the order of severity they are: heat cramps, heat
exhaustion and heatstroke.
Heat Cramps: These are painful,
involuntary muscle cramps that can occur during intense exercise/work in
the heat. The spasms can be more intense than the nighttime leg cramps.
The muscles most often affected are calves, arms, abs and back.
Exhaustion: Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating and a
rapid pulse. Exposure to high temperatures, especially combined with
high humidity and strenuous physical activity can result in the body
overheating. Without treatment it can lead to heatstroke.
This happens when the body’s core temperature reaches 40° C or higher.
Symptoms include disorientation and a lack of sweat. If left untreated
it can lead to unconsciousness, organ failure and death.
Should you
or someone you’re with experience the symptoms of heat cramps or heat
exhaustion stop what you’re doing. Get to a cool place and hydrate with
water or an electrolyte* drink. If you suspect heatstroke, get to
medical attention as soon as possible.
*There are so many on the market experiment to find the one that works best for you.
Of course, it’s best to avoid the risk in the first place.
• When possible schedule activities for early in the day or after the sun goes down.
• Take frequent breaks in a cool area (shaded or air conditioned).
• Stay out of the sun.
• Hydrate. Drinking water is great but sometimes an electrolyte drink is a more effective option.
• Check the weather. If it’s going to be too hot reschedule the activity. Better to be safe.
wait so long to enjoy the summer months that we tend to overlook that
heat can be dangerous. It’s easy to talk ourselves into getting out
there when we really shouldn’t. That’s why it’s so important to know the
risks and train ourselves to recognize the symptoms of getting
overheated. Get to know your limits and respect them.
Something to think about.

Sweig is a certified personal fitness trainer and spinning instructor.
She owns and operates The Point for Fitness. She can be reached at laurie@thepointforfitness.com.