Thursday, May 13, 2010

Its getting hot, hot, hot!

So did you step up at least one workout since last week? I did! Friday I rode my bike 1 1/2 miles to meet my mom, we ran 5 miles, walked 1 to cool down, and then I rode my bike another 1 1/2 miles home! It was a sweaty one, but I felt great afterwards!

It is getting hot here in Houston- really hot. There are plenty of days that we have 100% humidity which makes it feel like I am exercising in a sauna! This week it has really started to feel like summer even when I am running before the sun gets up.

Summer can be a dangerous time to exercise, so please be careful. Below you will find three of the most common problems that occur during the summer- make sure you know the symptoms and treatment of each and always drink plenty of water when you exercise!


Dehydration: This person's body is losing more water than it is taking in. The body is 75% water and is in constant flux; the body routinely loses water by breathing, sweating, and remove waste and needs fluids to replenish what it loses each day.

Heat exhaustion: This person's body fluids are lost through sweating, causing the body to overheat. The person's temperature may be elevated, but not above 104°F.

Heat stroke: The person's cooling system, which is controlled by the brain, stops working and the internal body temperature rises to the point where brain damage or damage to other internal organs may result (temperature may reach 105+°F).


Dehydration symptoms

Increased thirst; dry mouth and swollen tongue; weakness; dizziness; palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding); confusion; sluggishness, even fainting; inability to sweat; decreased urine output (Urine color may indicate dehydration. If urine is concentrated and deeply yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated.)

Heat exhaustion symptoms

Often pale with cool, moist skin; sweating profusely; muscle cramps or pains; feels faint or dizzy; may complain of headache, weakness, thirst, and nausea; core temperature elevated-usually more than 100°F-and the pulse rate increased

Heat stroke symptoms

Unconscious or has a markedly abnormal mental status (dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, or coma); flushed, hot, and dry skin; may have slightly elevated blood pressure at first that falls later; may be hyperventilating; core temperature of 105°F or more.


Dehydration treatment

Sip small amounts of water; drink carbohydrate/electrolyte-containing drinks- good choices are sports drinks such as Gatorade or prepared replacement solutions (Pedialyte is one example); suck on popsicles made from juices and sports drinks; suck on ice chips; remove any excess clothing and loosen other clothing; air-conditioned areas are best for helping return body temperatures to normal and break the heat exposure cycle; avoid exposing skin to excessive cold, such as ice packs or ice water as this can cause the blood vessels in the skin to constrict and will decrease rather than increase heat loss. (Exposure to excessive cold can also cause shivering, which will increase body temperature—the opposite effect you're trying to achieve.)

Heat exhaustion treatment

Rest in a cool, shaded area; give cool fluids such as water or sports drinks (that will replace the salt that has been lost) -salty snacks are appropriate as tolerated; loosen or remove clothing; apply cool water to skin; do not use an alcohol rub; do not give any beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.

Heat stroke treatment

Do not attempt to treat a case of heat stroke at home, but you can help while waiting for medical assistance to arrive.

Call 911 immediately; move the person to a cooler environment, or place him or her in a cool bath of water (as long as he or she is conscious and can be attended continuously); alternatively, moisten the skin with lukewarm water and use a fan to blow cool air across the skin; give cool beverages by mouth only if the person has a normal mental state and can tolerate it.

Triathlon/Biathlon Update: It is like a week away! I am getting nervous and excited and making the last few workouts really count. Ready or not, here I come!


Alex said...

Yes, I know there needs to be a comma in the title "its"...but I posted without thinking and I am sorry. (I happen to know a few english majors that frequent this to you specifically, I am sorry. I promise, I do know the rule :) )

Katie said...

Haha. I probably wouldn't have noticed the "its" if you hadn't pointed it out. :) Anyway, great post! I remember getting so warm from being outside last summer when I was pregnant that I hardly wanted to go outside at all until after the sun went down. It's so important to be careful about these things! Thanks for all the great info Alex!

Kathy Haynie said...

Haha - I'll bet the apostrophe had heat exhaustion! This is really good advice. I haven't renewed my first aid certification in several years, and this was a good review. Thanks, Alex!

We'd love to hear from you!

Want to write a guest post for The Skinny? E-mail Katie at kathleenann08 (at) gmail (dot) com.