Protection Against Heat-Related Illnesses

While many people enjoy exercising to remain fit, they are not aware of the risks involved when the body temperature increases above the safety levels. High body temperature can cause multiple heat-related illnesses, which may be fatal in some cases. However, it is possible to keep the body temperature sufficiently low, using various methods, and continue training.

Heat-related illness. Experts claim that when the human body sends blood to the skin surface for cooling, depriving the muscles, brain, other organs, some heat-related diseases may occur. Hence running outdoors on a hot day is risky since the reduced blood supply to the brain, muscles will reduce the cognitive ability and the physical strength of the person. Just being outdoors on a hot day will usually not cause a problem. However, strenuous exercising can significantly increase the overheating caused.

Hyperthermia refers to three different health problems: the higher than average body temperature is due to factors external to the human body. A person is suffering from hyperthermia when his body temperature exceeds 100.F. Each type of hyperthermia occurs in different stages, and the severity will vary. It is essential to be aware of the symptoms to be appropriately treated at the initial phase since severe hyperthermia can cause death.

Cramps and Heat Fatigue is the initial stage of hyperthermia and is less severe. Excessive sweating, exhaustion, red or flushed skin, muscle spasms, cramps, pain, headache, and nausea are some symptoms of heat fatigue.

Cramps and Heat Fatigue is the initial stage of hyperthermia and is less severe. Excessive sweating, exhaustion, red or flushed skin, muscle spasms, cramps, pain, headache, and nausea are some symptoms of heat fatigue.

Heat Exhaustion is the next stage in hyperthermia, causing a heat stroke if not treated properly, which is life-threatening. Additionally, you may experience profuse sweating, cold skin, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, headache pain, a fast pulse, and muscle cramps. You might also experience weakness or exhaustion as well as reduced urination frequency.

Heatstroke is medically the most severe hyperthermia stage. With internal body temperature exceeding 103 F. Patients with blood pressure, heart-related health problems are likely to be adversely affected by this condition. At the same time, individuals with less immunity may suffer from complications. Some of the symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion like fast pulse, fast breathing, hot, wet skin, nausea, dizziness, headache, disorientation, confusion, mood swings, eyesight is affected, fainting. In case of severe heatstroke, the complications are organ failure, seizure, coma, and death.

Avoiding Hyperthermia

Though hyperthermia can adversely affect health, people can avoid these health problems by taking a few precautions. Some of the steps for preventing hyperthermia are listed below:

  • Monitor the temperature: People planning to spend their time outdoors should check the weather forecasts for the period. When temperatures are higher, people should avoid outdoor exercise and plan for other activities.
  • Getting acclimatized: Individuals who spent most of their time indoors should take some time to adjust to higher outdoor temperatures before exercising. It will take at least one or two weeks to adapt
  • Fitness levels: Individuals who do not exercise regularly will have lower endurance levels, so they should take breaks while exercising and rest if they feel tired
  • Remain hydrated: Dehydration is the leading cause of hyperthermia. Hence the person exercising should drink sufficient fluids to replace the water his body loses while sweating. Individuals who plan vigorous exercises should drink a sports drink since they will also lose potassium and chloride when they sweat profusely.
  • Wear the right clothes: Loose, light-colored, and lightweight clothes can keep the person cool in summer. Wearing a hat will also protect against heat.
  • Wearing sunscreen: The sun rays will cause sunburn, damaging the skin, making it difficult to reduce the temperature, and increasing the possibility of skin cancer. Sunscreen will protect the skin
  • Avoiding midday sun: The heat from the sun is maximum at noon, mid-day, so it is advisable to exercise during the night or morning when temperatures are lower.
    Make alternate plans: If it is scorching outside, it is better to modify programs and exercise indoors.
  • Medical advice: Individuals suffering from heart ailments, having lower immunity, senior citizens are more likely to suffer from hyperthermia. Similarly, taking certain medicines will also increase the risk. Hence the patient should consult their doctor before exercising.


Though exercising is necessary for remaining fit, exercising outdoors can lead to heat-related ailments, sometimes fatal. Hence every person should be aware of the risks involved and take the required precautions to remain healthy.

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