Preventing Heat Exhaustion During Physical Activities


Whether you are vigorously cleaning the home or dedicated to a regular routine of exercises, preventing yourself from getting overheated is important to your health. Heat exhaustion can quickly lead to heat stroke which can cause an incredible amount of damage to your internal organs. Essentially, you can cook yourself from the inside out. How can you prevent yourself from experiencing such a detrimental condition when being physically active throughout the day?

1. Know Limitations – You may want to be vigilant in your physical activity and want to be in peak condition, but overdoing your routines and activity could increase your chances of collapsing. You need to know just how far you can push yourself without causing internal injuries. It doesn’t matter if you can burn so many calories if you’re hospitalized from heat stroke.

2. Keep Hydrated – Making sure your body has enough liquids can essentially decrease your overall body temperature. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty in order to keep water flowing into your body. Depending on the physical activity, you will use it faster than you may think. Sweat is not the only aspect of replacing lost water when your body temperature begins to rise due to physical activity.

3. Dress for Success – Wear lightly colored and lightweight clothing when being active. This is especially important if you’re outdoors. Sunlight is reflected from light colors and could greatly reduce the amount of heat that your body is subjected. Loose fitting clothing could also be ideal as it will provide breathing room instead of acting like insulation.

4. Regular Breaks – Take regular breaks in a shaded area in order to recuperate. Subjecting yourself to intense levels of discomfort and heat is not the same as being “tough.” Depending on your personal body type and the ambient temperature, your threshold for healthy exercise could be lower than another person. This doesn’t mean you are weaker, just that your body needs to cool down more often before you pass out on the floor or pavement.

5. Eating Fruits and Veggies – Fruits and vegetables are high in water content as well as providing a great deal of nutrition for facing physical activity. Another aspect to consider is that fruits contain high levels of anti-oxidants that can help prevent long-lasting damage from the sun if your activities should be outside. This is aside from sustaining higher energy levels longer than you would on an unhealthy diet from the fast food window.

6. Time of the Day – If at all possible, schedule your workouts to coincide with cooler times of the day. Some activities such as sporting events may be unavoidable. However, your own private time should be during times when the temperature will not pose as a problem for your particular activity. Many people prefer to work out in the mornings as it is a way to keep cooler while getting the blood flowing before the day starts.

Heat exhaustion can easily be the first step to taking an emergency room visit. According to the CDC, 675 people die each year from extreme heat related illnesses in the United States. Play and work smarter, not harder. Fitness shouldn’t involve risking your life because you need to push yourself in order to achieve results. Don’t be a victim to heat – especially since it’s easily avoidable.

Ken Myers is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He’s always looking for ways to help families find the support they need to live fuller, richer lives. Find out more about expert childcare by checking out @go_nannies on Twitter.

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