Summer officially started a week ago, but summer temps have been with us sporadically since March. For those of us who work and play outdoors, hot weather is a potentially dangerous environment.
It seems an opportune time to look at it in detail.
When I asked my doctor about bike riding during heat advisories, she said not to do it and that she advised her 40-year-olds not to do it either.
I wrote about my bicycling workaround last July during a Chicago heat advisory. You can read about it here.
I also wrote up the impact of a some outdoor exercise the same week. You can find it here.
But besides my anecdotal evidence, how about some authoritative info straight from the horse’s mouth.
The Mayo Clinic suggests drinking enough fluids, wearing proper clothing and timing your workout to avoid extreme heat.
Here is what The Mayo Clinic says about the warning signs:
“During hot-weather exercise, watch for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. If you ignore these symptoms, your condition can worsen, resulting in a medical emergency. Signs and symptoms include:
Nausea or vomiting
“If you develop any of these symptoms, you must lower your body temperature and get hydrated. Stop exercising immediately and get out of the heat. If possible, have someone stay with you who can help monitor your condition. Remove extra clothing or sports equipment. Drink fluids — water or a sports drink. If possible, fan your body or wet down your body with cool water. If you don’t feel better within 30 minutes, contact your doctor. If you have signs of heatstroke, seek immediate medical help.
“Once you’ve had heatstroke, you’re at a higher risk of getting a heat illness again. Get cleared by your doctor before you return to exercise if you’ve had heatstroke.”
I try to exercise every day, but as you can see from the above warning, discretion can be the better part of valor when it comes to doing it in hot weather. I have the option of an air-conditioned health club in my building. I hope you can find something equally useful … and safe.
For some further suggestions on dealing with extreme heat, check out How to Beat the Heat and Hydration – Cool, Clear Water, How dangerous is it to exercise outdoors in a heat wave? What about bike riding during a heat advisory? What to do about exercise in very hot weather? How to beat the heat?