Published On: Thu, Jul 5th, 2012

What to watch for when exercising in the summer time

By: Dr. Marcia Perretto Medina

The high temperatures in the summer time may pose several risks to those who exercise under the sun. More dangerous yet is to exercise under the heat and the high humidity levels. Learn how to protect yourself against this 4 dangerous health conditions that may be potentially fatal.

1) Dehydration
The dehydration is not only limited to the summer months, even do being more commun this time of the year. Several health professionals believe that the majority of the population is in a chronic dehydration state. Beverages like coffee, teas, sodas, and alcohol, act like diuretics, and if consumed daily, without at least the same amount of water ingested, it will cause dehydration. Now, if the individual is physically active the chances for dehydration are even higher. Working outdoors under high humidity and  temperatures promotes perspiration, and may cause dehydration. The perspiration is an important process, because it cools down the body, but at the same time it dehydrates it by the loss of electrolytes. If you are lightly dehydrated and sweat you may aggravate the dehydration. It is important to maintain good levels of fluid ingestion at all times. Once you feel thisty it is already too late, because the human body can withstand hours of critical levels of lack of fluids before you feel thirsty. By watching the color of your urine you you may know if you are dehydrated. The urine must be pale yellow or even very clear. If not, you must ingest more fluids.

2) Muscle Cramps due to the heat
Muscle cramps caused  by the high temperatures of the summer are very painful and rarely improve with a quick massage or by firming the leg on the ground. They occur due to the loss of minerals with the sweat and dehydration. Once you get to the point of this type of cramps, it’s to late to try to replace the fluids and  electrolytes lost. To get rid of this type of muscle cramps you have to interrupt the physical activity you are performing and must ingest fluids. The fluids ingested may includ sports drinks and plain water. Apply massage to the involved muscles to decrease the pain, cool down the body with wet towels to decrease the body metabolism, and prevent the further loss of fluids thru sweat.

3) Heat Exaustion
Heat Exaustion is a dangerous condition that can lead to serious health complications. The symptoms commonly observed during heat exaustion are: dizziness, chills (mainly in the arms and body), nausea, moderate to severe headaches, decreased coordination, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, and increased heart bit. If you experience one or more of these symptoms you should: stop the activity immediately, drink plenty of fluids and sports drinks,change in loose and dry clothes, lye down with your legs elevated above the heart level, and go to the nearest emergency room.

4) Heat stroke
Heat stroke can be fatal. Unfortunately several individuals ignore the symptoms of heatstroke and continue to push to the point of  a termoregulatory system collapse. The symptoms of heat stroke are similar to the symptoms of heat exaustion but rapidly progress to: desorientation, severe weakness, strange behavior, rapid pulse, cessation of sweat, hot and dry skin, and high body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celcius) or higher, loss of consciousness, convulsions and coma.

To practice physical exercises outdoors is very important, but do not allow the heat to put your health in danger. Follow the above stated precautions, don’t forget to apply a good sunscreen and enjoy the benefits of the summer.

About the Author

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>