By Elizabeth Quinn, About.com Guide
Updated August 14, 2011
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board
See More About:
AdsFast Acting PerformanceOral tab that dissolves in mouth. Works in less than 20 minutes!MensClinicsOfAmerica.com
Tired of Acid Reflux?Learn about a local research study for heartburn and reflux suffererswww.AcidRefluxStudy.com
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)Top 5 Treatments! Cure Your Erectile DysfunctionTopMedicalResources.com
Sports Medicine Ads
AdsLose Belly Fat Naturally3 sneaky hormones that are making you fat & how to stop them now.www.RealDose.com/Weight-Loss
Top Male Remedies5% Discount + Free Shipping. Buy Now & Get 10 Free!edfhelpfgnyb.tk
Athletes are especially susceptible to heat-related illness such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke while exercising in hot weather. Most serious heat illness in athletes can be prevented by following some basic guidelines and heeding the warning signs and symptoms. However, if these warning signs are ignored, they may progress into a life-threatening heat emergency.Common Heat-Related IllnessHeat Illness - Symptoms and SeverityNormally, our body temperature is regulated by sweating. A number of factors can limit the sweat response, including intense exercise in high temperatures or high humidity, age, obesity, fever, dehydration, illness, medications and alcohol. When an athlete develops a heat illness, it usually occurs after several hours of exertion and excessive sweating that leads, first to to dehydration, and then toelectrolyte imbalances.
To prevent heat-related illness, follow these precautions:
- Drink the Right Amount of the Right Fluids
Finding the right amount of fluid to drink depends upon a variety of individual factors including the length and intensity of exercise and other individual differences. There are, however, two simple methods of estimating adequate hydration.
- Replace Lost Electrolytes
Sweat leeches salt and minerals from the body. It's important to maintain sodium and electrolyte levels if you are sweating profusely and exercising more than 90 minutes. The easiest way to replace these are with salty foods or sports drinks.
- Wear Appropriate Clothing
Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. In the hot sun, a hat and sunscreen is helpful. Wear light, loose-wicking clothing so sweat can evaporate. Better yet, invest in some clothes made with CoolMax®, Drymax®, Smartwool or polypropylene. These fibers have tiny channels that wick the moisture from your skin to the outer layer of the clothing where it can evaporate more easily.
- Use Sunscreen and Avoid Sunburn
Sunburn decreases your ability to cool yourself and causes fluid loss. Use sunblock with SPF 15 or higher. Wear a hat that provides shade and allows ventilation.
- Acclimate to the Heat
You will have a greater tolerance for exercise in the heat if you become accustomed to it slowly over one to two weeks. If traveling to a hotter climate, allow several days to acclimate before doing intense exercise. Avoid exercise during the hottest time of day; train closer to sunrise or sunset.
- Use Common Sense
Avoid hot foods, alcohol and heavy foods that increase your core temperature. If you feel any headaches, fatigue or irritability or notice your exercise performance decreasing, stop exercising and cool off.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety, 2006.