Wellness

Don't Overheat! Summer Workout Tips

Don't Overheat! Summer Workout Tips

 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nearly 320 Americans die each year from heat related illnesses, primarily due to dehydration.  During severe dehydration, the blood stream loses a significant amount of fluid. A decrease in blood volume causes the heart to work harder, stressing the cardiovascular system, in order to maintain the required levels of output during both physical activity and rest. At the greatest risk are small children and senior citizens who are not as able to regulate their body's temperature as well as others.

 

In order to avoid these risks and to feel and perform your best while exercising in the heat, make sure you are drinking water throughout the day - before, during and after a workout.  Drinking water only while you are exercising is not enough. If you plan on exercising outdoors, also plan on drinking plenty of water beforehand. During your workout, always keep in mind that if you are feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated.  As a guide, try to drink 8 ounces (1 cup) of water every 20 minutes during high intensity exercise. If you are out in the heat exercising & sweating heavily for more than 45 mins to an hour, consider an electrolyte replacement drink. The body loses sodium, potassium, chloride and other minerals and electrolytes while we sweat, and the body fatigues prematurely when our electrolytes are out of balance. On the other hand, when exercising for less than an hour or in cooler conditions the body is more-so in need of fluid replacement (water) than electrolyte replacement.

 

The most important tip to remember when exercising in the heat, especially if you are working out with a group or team, are the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The differences are listed below:

 

Heat Exhaustion                                                        Heat Stroke

The individual is...                                                     The individual is experiencing...

pale and sweating with cold/clammy skin                     hot, flushed, dry skin

a normal/slightly elevated heart rate                           a rapid heart rate

nausea, dizziness, weakness, muscle cramps              disorientation, confusion, irregular behavior

 

If you or someone you are with is exhibiting any of these symptoms, move to a cooler, shaded area, drink plenty of fluids and let your body recover. If you suspect heat stroke, call 911 as it is a medical emergency and can only be treated by a medical professional.

 

Court Jester Athletic Club Fitness Director, Kelsey Newman suggests a safe option for staying fit during the summer while still enjoying the fresh air is to "join a structured Outdoor Workout Class, such as their 'Summer Blast Weight Loss Camp'. This program incorporates indoor and outdoor training, support and guidance from Certified Personal Trainers." She recommends that "everyone get out and take advantage of the nice weather, even if it's just playing with the kids in the yard or at the park."

 

Contributors:

Court Jester Athletic Club

Kelsey Newman-Fitness Director

Erin Hundley- Personal Trainer