Yeah, but gyms are closed so I’m gonna get my workout in outdoors, right? I can do some resistance and core indoors, but I gotta get some miles in. I’ve got a couple virtual races coming up and I have to be competitive, right? Also it’s an excuse to get out of my apartment in these COVID days, right? I need this man, I really need this.
Yeah, but it’s hot as ball…..istics, not to put too fine a bullet point on it.
Let’s talk heat.
Heat exhaustion & heat stroke. They are NOT interchangeable terms.
When your body temperature rises, blood flow to the surface of your body increases.
And when you’re overheated, you sweat more, quickly causing you to be dehydrated as your body loses large amounts of water via your pores in an effort to regulate. Dehydration further places a strain on the heart, and since the heart is already working hard at pushing blood flow to the skin, this can lead to a dangerous situation for your heart, An overheated state puts the body’s most vulnerable and delicate tissues at risk: nerve cells in the brain and throughout the body. This can lead to confusion, memory impairment, and even loss of consciousness
What are some of the signs that you might be overdoing it?
1) You should be aware if you’re starting to notice a change in the amount of sweat you’re producing Initially, the body will try to cool itself off by sweating more, But as one gets more dehydrated, sweating can stop and this is very dangerous. Without sweat, the body loses its ability to cool itself off and the internal temperature will start to rise, leading to heatstroke. If you’re not sweating at all, it is important to get as cool as you can by leaving the heat, shedding clothes, drinking water, and applying ice packs or taking a cool bath if necessary.
2) As delicate nerve tissues in the brain are heated up, headaches, confusion, nausea, mental lethargy, and dizziness occur. If weird feelings are coming on or a headache is setting in, take a break in the shade or head indoors—and drink plenty of water to help tame your temperature
3) Heat rashes occur when sweat ducts get blocked, often by heavy clothing, and the sweat gets trapped under the skin, causing it to get inflamed and swollen with red bumps, also known as ‘prickly heat,’” Just had this last Saturday. Not proud, but just being transparent. That’s a new thing. Being “transparent” . We used to just say “honest”. But that’s not a cool enough term. So we have to hijack another term and make it the new hot descriptor of the month. That’s big in corporate America. Now that I’ve stepped away from that world for a moment, I’m so afraid I’m gonna get behind on the latest. I don’t want to still be calling things “robust” when everyone knows we need to be “leaning into” new terms….
….but I digress.
4) One of the earliest signs of heat exhaustion occur in our large muscle groups, often feeling like a spasm or a painful cramp. To work through this, you’ll need to cool down, sit down and gently stretch until the tingling goes away.
But what’s the diff between Heat exhaustion & heat stroke?
Exhaustion can usually be cured by drinking water or other liquids, resting in the shade and being wet down with a damp cloth or spray bottle (don’t pour water on someone with heat exhaustion; that can be too big a shock to the body).
Heat stroke is when body temperature passes beyond mere “exhaustion.” It can happen quickly. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate and urgent medical care. The body’s temperature control may no longer be able to function, and the result can be organ failure, brain damage and even death.
Here’s what exhaustion looks like
The person with heat exhaustion will be uncomfortable and may be dizzy. Their skin will feel cool and clammy; but their forehead may be hot, as if they have a mild fever of 100-101. Their conversation and mental state will be normal. If you feel uncomfortably hot, get into some shade, loosen your clothing and guzzle liquid — preferably a sports drink with electrolytes. Keep resting even after you feel better; it takes time for the body’s internal temperature to return to normal.
The person with heat stroke will have dry and very hot skin. Blood vessels expand to help dispel the heat, making the skin flush red. Lips may be swollen, but the eyes will seem sunken. A body temperature above 103 indicates heat stroke, rather than exhaustion. The person may not be coherent; they may not be able to speak normally and their speech may not make sense. They will seem confused and can also have hallucinations. Vomiting and being unable to stand or walk normally are additional symptoms.
Unlike exhaustion, where the condition improves with the drinking of liquids, the heat stroke victim may not even be able to swallow liquids; and drinking doesn’t make symptoms go away. The heart rate may be elevated, and breathing may be shallow and fast. They may lose consciousness. If it looks like heat stroke, call emergency medical care immediately.
So, Bob, how do I avoid these robust health risks and lean into preventive measures?
( I’m a jerk. I know.)
Drink Plenty of Fluids: Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Stay away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Replace Salt and Minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
If you are on a low-salt diet, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
Avoid Hot and Heavy Meals: They add heat to your body!
Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
I know I run at noon most of the time. Do as I say……
Pace Yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. People ask me why I can run in the heat. Honestly, first, it’s not smart. But I have been running in heat since my years in the Caribbean. Years and years of acclimating my body to it. My body doesn’t go “ OMG, what’s going on?” and shut down. It goes “ Oh, this again. You’re a jerk Tully”.
See, my body knows me very well.
Wear Sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
Just to summarize;
Symptoms of heat exhaustion are:
Pale or cold skin
Weakness and/or confusion
Nausea or vomiting
Dark-colored urine, which indicates dehydration
In addition to these symptoms, warning signs of heatstroke also include:
Fever of 104°F or higher
Flushed or red skin
Lack of sweating
It’s hot people.
COVID…Fires….Hurricanes….Murder hornets…presidential elections…
…who know what heinous crap we gotta deal with between now and Dec.31.