Want to enjoy the outdoors and beautiful weather but are struggling to keep up in the heat? Running, biking, and swimming are some of the few ways we enjoy the summer temperature and make the most out of this season. But working out for just 15 minutes outside can feel exhausting and unpleasant. When you exercise, your body’s temperature increases from the constant activity, but the addition of air temperature and humidity can increase your body temperatures to dangerous levels if no precautions are made. To cool yourself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles which in turn increases your heart rate. Under normal circumstances, your body has natural cooling systems in place to prevent overheating, but when exercising outdoors, these systems may fail and leave you dehydrated and you can experience one or more of these heat-related illnesses:
Heat Cramps: Painful muscle contractions that can occur with exercise. Affected muscles may feel firm to the touch or one can feel muscle pain or spasms.
Heat Syncope and exercise-associated collapse: Heat syncope is a feeling of lightheadedness or fainting caused by high temperatures. Exercise-associated collapse is feeling lightheaded or fainting immediately after exercising.
Heat Exhaustion: Some symptoms include nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, fainting, sweating and cold, clammy skin. This can lead to a heat stroke if left untreated.
Heatstroke: Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency condition that occurs when your body temperature is greater than 104F.
Other symptoms that can occur from overheating include: confusion, irritability, headache, heart rhythm problems, dizziness, fainting, and fatigue. Although these are all risks when you exercise, there are ways to avoid this and enjoy spending time outside.