What are Danger Signs During Hot Weather Exercise?

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:

Muscle cramps
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?



Filed under Exercise, hot weather, Weight

5 responses to “What are Danger Signs During Hot Weather Exercise?

  1. Pingback: What to do About Exercise During a Heat Advisory | Two Regular Guys Talking about Food, Exercise and Men's Health

  2. Pingback: How Dangerous is it to Exercise Outdoors in a Heat Wave? | Two Regular Guys Talking about Food, Exercise and Men's Health

  3. Pingback: What To Do If You Get Overheated | Two Regular Guys Talking about Food, Exercise and Men's Health

  4. I recently decided to participate in a “difficult” hike with a group that does hikes every Saturday. This was my first time going out into the 90% humidity of this location for more than an hour or so… and my first time exerting myself at that level outdoors… it ended up being about a 6 mile hike over about 6 hours… from around 11am to about 5pm. I took maybe 3 liters of water with me, but didn’t have much time to stop along the way to sit, drink, and rest… otherwise I would lose the majority of the group. Halfway through (when we reached the end and it was time to turn back)… having done FAR more actual CLIMBING and jumping and exerting of myself than expected… I suddenly had a headache, felt light-headed, and unexpectedly vomited… my body stopped me dead in my tracks… and there was NO way back except the way that we came, which required me to pull myself up out of a ditch with a rope, climb up, over and around sharp coral rocks, and balance myself over those treacherously sharp coral rocks for another 2 miles… before facing a mile uphill through trees. My whole body was hot, my stomach was queasy and my head would not stop pounding despite my fervent water consumption. I wanted to cry at the thought of what was still required of me to get back home. I ended up having to find a cave to lie down in the shade for about half an hour; a tour guide stayed with me to make sure I made it back safely. WORST EXPERIENCE EVER. Beforehand, I hadn’t realized that my lack of experience in the humidity would be such a huge issue. I work out regularly and am generally pretty strong and have decent endurance. I took enough water to stay fairly hydrated… although I should have taken more… and ice water, in particular. But I also learned the importance of pacing myself no matter what the rest of the group is doing. If I had taken time to stop, rest, drink and go at my own pace, as well as if I’d had a heartier breakfast, I probably would have fared a lot better. After that, I didn’t have the energy to workout for about a week… it definitely took its toll. This is a good article and I appreciate you providing a list of the symptoms of exhaustion and stroke. These are REALLY important things to know!

    Liked by 1 person

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