If you're in Texas, you know that we're going through a heatwave...and we have been for a couple of weeks now. It's hotter than hinges on the gates to Hades and there are no signs that we'll experience cool breezes in the near future. 105 to 110 degree temperatures will inevitably affect your lifestyle, especially those who engage in a regular exercise program.
Exercise is an excellent way to stay in shape and to keep the musculoskeletal system nice and strong, and functioning properly and can help the body stave off many diseases, but is it a good idea to maintain your exercise regimen in extreme heat like we're currently seeing? Especially if you workout outdoors?
Well, unless you are extremely acclimated to such conditions, it's probably not a good idea. When temperatures start approaching 99 degrees, you may want to switch up your venue and move your workout either inside, to early mornings, or at least wait until the sun goes down, although in Texas, it'll still be HOT, HOT, HOT!
Excercising in extreme heat can cause your core temperature to rise which can set a plethora of serious illnesses into motion that can affect your muscles, kidneys, heart and overall good health. Take the time to understand symptoms of heat related illness so you'll know what to do quicker should you find yourself in trouble.
A few heat related symptons to be on the lookout for are severe muscle cramps, dizziness or lightheadedness, excessive sweating, increased heart rate, fatigue, weakness, nausea and/or vomiting. If you begin to experience such symptons, you should seek medical care immediatly.
Your first line of defense against heat related illness is common sense. Is it worth the risk to go outside in the heat. I say no, but if you must, be sure to take note of not only of the temperature, but the heat index as well. Make sure you pre-hydrate, hydrate not only with water but also with drinks that replace your electrolytes and post hydrate! Pay attention to your body and what it could be telling you about your health. Try cutting your workout in half. Cool down, preferably in a cool place, to allow your body temperature to get back to normal.
Last but not least, have regular check-ups with your primary care doctor to stay on top of your health status.