How To Stay Cool, Exercise Outdoors and Avoid Heat Stroke
As the temperatures continue to rise so does the risk of heat-related illnesses. It doesn't make it any easier if you are accustomed to exercising outdoors. Heat stroke can happen at any time and it can be deadly.
If you are used to working out, the summer months won't stop many people from exercising.
Health experts say when the temperature hits 104 degrees or above, a person can experience heat stroke or a heat-related illness.
"Muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, headache, sweating excessively at first, the person may become dizzy or light headed," said Michelle Smart, a nurse practitioner at Springfield Clinic.
Outdoor temperature, humidity and the overall heat indices increase the overall stress on the body.
"Later on they may become irritable confused experience a low blood pressure or an increased heart rate and start having visual problems. That is an emergency situation and they need to be taken to the emergency room," said Smart.
Warning signs also can include disorientation and hyperthermia. Take care if you experience any of these symptoms. Experts say that the first indication is thirst but they warn that you should not wait to feel thirsty.
"You should drink every 15 minutes. You should drink water preferably or a sports drink, one you should avoid alcohol or caffeine," said Smart.
Experts say heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. "If someone is going to exercise outside they should avoid the mid-day hour. They should either exercise early in the morning or later in the evening," said Smart.
Also, be prepared. Health experts recommend that if you are going to exercise outdoors that you wear loose fitting, light weight, light colored clothing if you want to stay safe and beat the heat.
Health experts at Springfield Clinic say that humidity makes it more difficult for people with heart and lung conditions to breathe outdoors. They also say that it is smart to not start an outdoor exercise routine when the heat is on unless you are an athlete or you are used to physical activity at high temperatures.