Sports Medicine
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On Your Knees
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The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
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Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
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Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
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It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
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Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
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Birth Control Concerns
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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
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Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
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Taking It On the Shin
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Yeast Relief

Chilled to the Bone

Learning to recognize the early signs of hypothermia could save your life.

Once cold weather settles in across the country, it is important to protect yourself against hypothermia while exercising.

Hypothermia is a generalized lowering of body temperature. The greatest danger of hypothermia is that the body may lose its ability to regulate heat.

This can lead to an uncontrolled downward spiral of core temperature that could result in death, without proper medical treatment. If you exercise in a cold climate, it is essential to take precautions against hypothermia, to learn to recognize its early symptoms and to initiate proper warming before it becomes too serious.

You may be surprised to learn that hypothermia is not just a concern of mountain climbers and skiers. It also occurs in bicyclists during fall and spring road races when the temperature maybe as warm as 55 F.

A combination of moisture, wind and cold - the wind-chill factor - can quickly lead to a lowered body temperature. The condition can even occur in the summer from immersion in cold water.

A Case in Point

A runner competing in an East Coast marathon, on a spring day with an air temperature of 55 F, wore a T-shirt and shorts with no hat or gloves. She did not feel thirsty and skipped some of the early water stations. She felt fatigued at about the 20-mile mark, but was trying to "gut it out" to finish.

At the 22-mile mark she had to start walking and felt cold. By the 23-mile mark she was shivering, confused and dizzy; and she sat down by the water station. She was transported to the medical aid station, where medical personnel recorded a rectal temperature of 93 F, pulse rate of 110 and low blood pressure.

Hypothermia with dehydration was diagnosed. She was given warm liquids to drink, wrapped in a thermal blanket of Mylar material and dressed in warm, dry clothing. She recovered in an hour and was able to go home with friends.

How can you recognize the first symptoms of hypothermia?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

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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.

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