Fun in the sun… it’s what summer is all about! We all love the South, but it gets HOT! We need to take extra precautions as we enter the hottest months of the year to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Kara Webb and Annie Thorisdottir know this all too well as they both fell victim to these serious heat-related illnesses during the 2015 CrossFit Games.
Heat exhaustion is caused by loss of water and electrolytes through excessive sweating. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating, weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache, lightheadedness and muscle cramps. To avoid falling out during a summer WOD, make sure to come in hydrated, drink water during your time at the gym, and pace yourself while you are acclimating to the heat.
If you start to recognize symptoms of heat exhaustion, stop all physical activity and move to a cooler environment and/or place ice packs on pulse points like the back of the neck and inside the wrists. Focus on rehydration with water and electrolytes.
Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke which can be a serious condition. Heat stroke is when the body no longer has the ability to cool itself down – you may stop sweating – and your core temperature rises dangerously high. Therefore, it is important to recognize the early signs of heat exhaustion and take the appropriate measures to prevent it from developing into heat stroke.
Strenuous physical activity can make us more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Always be sure to drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated during exercise. Let’s all stay safe this summer!
By: Janna Davis