Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Exercising in the Heat



Exercising in hot weather poses some very complex problems. You must be adequately prepared and informed before you venture out. Do all you can to help your body cool itself through sweat evaporation. Those at greater risk for heat illness are unconditioned people, children, people who are overweight and those who have had a previous heat illness.

It's most important to be well hydrated before and during exercise. Thirst is not an accurate indication of hydration. You are as much as 5-percent dehydrated when you feel thirsty; and researchers have found that even minimal amounts of dehydration (as low as 1 to 2 percent) impair performance and coordination.

Acclimatize yourself to the heat gradually. If the heat overwhelms your body's cooling mechanism, heat illness or hyperthermia is sure to result. The first signs are usually muscle cramps or mild fatigue and headache from dehydration.

At this point, stop exercising, get out of the sun, drink something cool, put cool compresses on your armpits and groin, loosen your clothing and get close to a breeze or fan. If environmental conditions are severe, postpone your exercise until later in the day or workout in an air-conditioned room.

If you must compete in a hot environment, take the time to acclimatize, hyper-hydrate before and during the event, and pace yourself. You may not set your best time, but avoiding heat illness is worth it.

Women respond to heat differently from men and may even handle it better. The average woman has a proportionally larger surface area than the average man and so absorbs more heat than a man would in temperatures above 98 F and dissipates more heat in temperatures below 98 F.

Women have less muscle mass than men and therefore generate less internal heat while exercising. They also sweat more efficiently than men.

Caution: Pregnant women and their developing fetuses are highly susceptible to heat illness and should avoid any type of thermal stress, including hot tubs and saunas, even at the early stages of pregnancy. Avoid overheating at any stage of pregnancy.

Next, Tips for Exercising in the Heat.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.