With our hot summers, it’s essential to understand how the heat impacts your body when being active.
How heat affects your body:
Warm weather can put you at risk for heat-related emergencies such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Heat cramps are often an early sign of overheating caused by salt loss from excessive sweating.
Heat exhaustion can include excessive sweating, cold and clammy skin, nausea and vomiting.
Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition in which the body’s temperature exceeds 40C.
At the earliest sign, rest, hydrate, seek shade or air-conditioning, and tell a loved one that you aren’t feeling well.
Tips to stay cool:
Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after any activity. Water is best for less-intensive training, but sports drinks such as Propel, Nuun, or Hydralyte may be your go-to after high-intensity exercise. These help to replenish your sodium stores and sometimes include carbohydrates to replenish your body’s sugar stores.
Time your activity accordingly! Rise early to catch the cooler part of the morning or save your physical activity for the evening as the sun is coming down. In mid-day heat, you can always jump in a pool or rest often in shady areas.
Wear loose-fitting, sweat-wicking clothing if possible. Dark colours absorb the heat more, so opt for the brighter and lighter colours!
Listen to your body. Even if you do all of the above on days with excessive heat warnings, it may be your best decision to stay cool and avoid a heat-related injury. Give yourself a break if you feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired.