Now that the theory is out of the way (http://icedjamb.com/bootcamp-in-toronto/exercising-safely-hot-weather-part-1-water-humidity), we can concentrate on the most common heat-related illness, dehydration, and its most common cause, behaviour. The three most common causes of dehydration are (Canadian Red Cross & First Aid):
- Too much time in the heat or sun
- Inadequate drinking of fluids to replace the water lost by sweating
- Over-exertion (i.e. working or exercising) too much in hot weather
The seven most commons signs/symptoms of dehydration are:
- Thirst (most commonly relieved by regular fluid consumption)
Important! If you have a headache, feel dizzy, nauseous, weak, or exhausted, inform your trainer immediately! These may indicate heat exhaustion or heat stroke. It is never a problem to sit down in the shade, walk gently around, or take a water break to help alleviate these symptoms. Your instructor and/or trainer is here to help you.
Preventing heat-related illnesses requires some planning and some common sense. Remember to always have one container of fluid with you while you’re working out and a second container ready for after your exercise.
- Consume 250-500 mL (8 to 16 oz, 1 to 2 cups) of water at least one hour before exercis(a little difficult for our morning classes, but still manageable!)
- If possible, consume 250 mL (8 oz, 1 cup) of water 20 min before exercise (one can plan to do this before the 6/7 am classes!)
- During exercise, drink 125-250 mL (4 to 8 oz, 1/2 cup to 1 cup) every 10 to 15 min (easily manageable, given the rest intervals in our BBBC program)
- After exercise, drink at least 500 mL (16 oz, 2 cups) for every pound lost during exercise. It is important to stay hydrated for good health.
- Remember, thirst is often a symptom of dehydration (it’s something you can feel & you know about yourself), so one can often prevent this by staying hydrated throughout a workout, and most importantly, throughout the day!
In addition to proper & adequate hydration, some other things a person can do to help prevent heat-related illnesses include:
- Avoid exercising outdoors during the hottest portion of the day (typically between 10 am and 2 pm)
- Take frequent water breaks (every 15 min), shorten the duration and intensity of your outdoor workout, and take frequent breaks in a cool or shaded area to help your body cool down and adapt to the warmer temperatures
- Wear a hat and/or sunglasses to protect your head and eyes from the sun and heat, and wear loose, light coloured cotton clothing to absorb sweat, promote air circulation, and allow the heat to escape
- Apply a sunscreen and/or insect repellents as directed
- Avoid sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol as these can cause dehydration (they interfere with the ability of your body to control its temperature properly)
- In addition to drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day on a regular basis, you can also try drinking club soda or unsweetened ice tea
Hope this helps! Enjoy the summer!