With summer heat here, you can take steps to avoid heat stroke when exercising!  Even if you are a “workout warrior,” you need to be careful in the heat…..My favorite time to exercise is in 100 degree heat, so I’m talking to myself while I write this little article! 

Stop exercising if you feel sick, have chills, headache, severe muscle burning or aching, dizziness or blurred vision.  If your symptoms don’t subside in a few minutes, you could be headed for a heat stroke that can kill you!   Exercise in heat lasting more than 1 hour can cause  fatigue, dehydration, muscle weakness/cramps and decreased coordination.  This is caused by low levels of fluids, salt or glycogen (fuel from carbohydrate calories).

Keep your fluids, salt and glycogen levels adequate before and during exercise because it is often too late once the symptoms show up!  Endurance events such as 5K runs, 10K runs and marathons require your heart to efficiently pump oxygen in your bloodstream from your lungs into your muscles. A study from the University of Connecticut shows that with dehydration, your heart beats with far less force, so it pumps far less blood with each beat. Therefore, an inadequate amount of oxygen reaches your muscles. Don’t depend on thirst to tell you when you lack fluids!  When you are going to exercise for more than 1 hour, especially in hot weather, drink small amounts of water frequently and eat salted snacks or consume a sports drink.

Be safe exercising this summer!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist
Certified Nutrition Coach and Nutrition for Metabolic Health Specialist. Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes that helps you to achieve better long-term health, which includes body transformation and ideal body weight.
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