Heat Disease: Quick Tips To Overcome The Summer Threat
The last few weeks have been a real trial on us weather-wise. Severe temperature fluctuations have been incredibly strenuous on our bodies and we all feel weakened, some more than others.
Heat relates illness come in many shapes and sizes, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat irritation (descending order of illness seriousness).
I’m not going to talk about heat stroke because frankly, the only time I developed this conditions I was about 6 years old and I don’t remember much of it, just two hazy weeks in bed while my friends were out playing in the sun. I want to speak about conditions that affect us regularly, even if we don’t really identify them.
It’s a common problem for endurance exercisers, but it can occur at regular people and young athletes alike.
- Intense heat build-up in the head
- General overheating of the body
- Significant headache
- Significant nausea Can you eat well or do you feel slightly nauseous coz of the heat?
- General confusion and loss of concentration Are you a mess lately?
- Loss of muscle control Slight twitch in your muscles?
- Excessive sweating and then cessation of sweating
- Clammy skin
- Excessively rapid breathing Did you find yourself rapidly grasping for air lately?
- Muscle cramps
- Feeling faint Did you feel like holding on to something the last time you stepped on to the melting pavement?
- Unusual heart beat or rhythm
I’m sure these sound familiar to many of us.
Usually, when you’re body is weakened for some reason, it’s much more prone to heat-related illnesses.
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Taking medications, such as cold medicines, diuretics, medicines for diarrhea, antihistamines, atropine, scopolamine, tranquilizers, and cholesterol and blood pressure medications. Check with your doctor on medication issues–especially when running in hot weather.
- Dehydration (especially due to alcohol)
- Severe sunburn
- Being overweight or a general lack of fitness
- Lack of heat training
- Exercising more than one is used to
- Occurrence of heat disease in the past
- Two or more nights of extreme sleep deprivation
- Certain medical conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, extreme stress, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, smoking or a general lack of fitness
- During hot weather, exercise at the coolest time (usually before sunrise)
- Drink water all day long
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other drugs
- Wear clothing that is light and loose
- East small, low fat snacks which you know will not cause you distress (far enough ahead)
- Don’t significantly increase duration or intensity
- Slow down pace even more to adjust for heat, humidity and hills – especially in the beginning
- Take walk-breaks more often on hot days