Thursday, December 13, 2018

How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion

In Austin we love outdoor fun. Unfortunately the summer heat can be very dangerous for some of us who enjoy getting out to stay fit. It is important to make sure you stay safe outside in the sun. Here is some basic information on heat exhaustion, what to look for and how to prevent it.

What is heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is a potentially dangerous condition where the body’s core temperature gets too hot due to a combination of environmental heat, humidity and physical activity. Untreated heat exhaustion could lead to heat stroke.

What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion symptoms can appear suddenly during or after physical activity. The symptoms include: excessive sweating, dizziness, fainting, weak and rapid pulse, sudden fatigue, low blood pressure when standing up, muscle cramping, nausea and headache.

What should you do if you suspect heat exhaustion?

DO NOT HIDE! Make sure you are in an area where people can help you if necessary. Stop all physical activity and find a cool (preferably air conditioned) and shaded place to rest. Let those around you know you suspect you might be experiencing heat exhaustion. Drink cool water or electrolyte replacement. You should seek medical attention if your symptoms do not go away within 60 minutes or if your temperature gets above 104 degrees.

How can you prevent heat exhaustion?

Wear light clothing that is thin, loose and light-colored or specifically designed for hotter environments. Wear a hat or visor and apply plenty of sun block. Make sure you hydrate before during and after physical activity outside with cool water or an electrolyte replacement. If possible, try to remain in shaded areas when outside and acclimate to the environment before beginning rigorous exercise. Ease into exercise outdoors if you are not used to it; if you are with a trainer let your trainer know your concerns. Check any medications you may be taking that may increase your sensitivity to the sun.

What are the symptoms of a heat stroke?

A heat stroke is a serious medical condition that results from untreated heat exhaustion. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: body temperature reaches and maintains a temperature over 104 degrees, lack of sweating and flushed skin, rapid breathing and heart beat, headache, neurological disorder (seizure, hallucination, sudden speech or coordination problems) and muscle fatigue and weakness.

Have fun getting or keeping fit this summer and STAY SAFE! Work It!