• Linda T Gottlieb, MA, CPT, CET

Overheating - Not Good for Your Car- Or Your Body- Fit Training Blog for Women 40, 50 and Beyond

In the Northeast we are about to have our first "heat wave" of the season, three days of predicted over 90 degree weather.

It's tempting in the summer here to bust out and enjoy every moment of the sun and warmth, it's also the time of year that overzealous outdoor exercisers (not just runners or hikers) get overcome by the heat.

Unlike your car, your body doesn't have a temperature gauge in the dashboard to easy indicate when the engine is in trouble due to heat, so here are some signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion along with some suggestions to deal with it from WebMd:

  • Confusion

  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)

  • Dizziness

  • Fainting

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Muscle or abdominal cramps

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

  • Pale skin

  • Profuse sweating

  • Rapid heartbeat

I see folks tending their gardens, walking at high noon and playing sports- golf, baseball, tennis- at the peak heat hours every summer. Just because you don't consider your activity a "sport" or "exercise" doesn't mean your body systems are not negatively impacted.

What to do? If you, or anyone else, has symptoms of heat exhaustion, it's essential to immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room. If you can't get inside, try to find the nearest cool and shady place.

In addition:

  • Drink plenty of fluid (avoid caffeine and alcohol).

  • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.

  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

  • Apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

If such measures fail to provide relief within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical help, because untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.

In these hazy lazy days of summer, please be healthy and safe!

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