Are You Too Hot?


It’s summer and that means that it is HOT outside! As most of you have heard, I live in north Texas and we were blessed with a extremely wet, and unseasonably comfortable spring. Then one day, it became SUMMER and HOT, like oh my goodness it’s hot and humid!!! I didn’t get a chance to get used to the heat because we were rained in the whole month of May, which is typically our adjustment month. The major problem with all this heat (besides the obvious OMG IT’S SO HOT) is that now that summer is here the majority of my Susan G. Komen 3-Day training is requiring me to be outside in the heat!! The heat seems to bother me even more than it did 5 years ago (which is just another lovely bonus of menopause), but that can’t keep me from training so I have to make sure I am properly prepared for the heat and know when I (or my team mates) are too hot.

When it’s hot outside and you are exercising (or playing, mowing the lawn, or anything else when you are exerting a lot of energy) there is a risk of being overheated and there could be a danger of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Do you know the signs of a heat stroke? I found this list from the Mayo Clinic.

  • High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
  • Altered mental state or behavior. …
  • Alteration in sweating. …
  • Nausea and vomiting. ..
  • Flushed skin. …
  • Rapid breathing. …
  • Racing heart rate. …
  • Headache.

If you or anyone else seems to be experiencing these symptoms, please call 911 and seek medical assistance. Before help arrives do these things to help the person cool off as fast as possible.

  1. Get the person into shade or indoors.
  2. Remove excess clothing.
  3. Cool the person with whatever means available — put in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person’s head, neck, armpits and groin.

The signs of heat exhaustion are similar but not as severe according to this article at WedMd.

  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

If you or anyone you are around is suffering from heat exhaustion take the following actions to cool off as soon as possible (and remember that heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke)!

  • Drink plenty of fluid (avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which both dehydrate you even more)
  • Remove tight or unnecessary clothing
  • Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath
  • Get into a cool room with air conditioning, or fans, or a cooling cloth or towel (this is my favorite)

Heat exhaustion is strongly related to the heat index, which is a measurement of how hot you feel when the effects of relative humidity and air temperature are combined. A relative humidity of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation, which hinders your body’s ability to cool itself. If you are in the south you are rarely in a climate that has a humidity of less than 60% in the summer, so that means you need to take extra precautions. Making sure that you have access to plenty of cool water, and extra electrolytes while exercising outside is vital to staying safe. Take frequent breaks and cool off in the air conditioning or with fans, too. Utilizing shady areas or trails will help keep you cooler, as well.

Start early in the day, if you must be outside to exercise (or work). The more you can accomplish before 10 a.m. the safer you will be, which is why I get up at 4:00 a.m. and start walking at 5:00 a.m. on the weekends. We have too many miles to cover each weekend to start at a reasonable hour! 🙂

In all seriousness, take precautions to make sure that you are not getting overheated while exercising (or working) outside this summer because thousands of people die each year because of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you are a stubborn person, like myself, make sure you have someone with you that can help look for the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and get you inside and cooled off as soon as possible (or you will just keep pushing yourself to keep going a little longer, which could cause problems for you).

Exercising is important but it’s not worth your life!

Stay cool and hydrated this summer!!



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