Posts Tagged ‘Heat Stroke’

Keeping cool while working up a sweat

July 5, 2011

Now that the Fourth of July has come and gone, we are officially in the heart of summer.  And that means really hot and hazy and humid days in the Northeast, kind of like the one we’re having today.  While I prefer working out at the gym between now and September, there are those of you who insist you have to run outdoors even on the hottest day of the year.  You should be okay if you stay hydrated, avoid running at the hottest time of day and listen to your body for the signs of heatstroke, but here’s something else to consider: use a cooling neck wrap.

A recent study found that athletes who wore such a wrap were able to work out longer and harder even when it was very hot out.  Apparently the wrap tricks the brain into thinking the body is cool.  They think it has something to do with the wrap cooling the blood that’s flowing into the brain.  But there’s a HUGE caveat.  Even though a person doesn’t feel hot, the body still responds as if it is (increased heart rate, higher temperature, etc.).  That means if you’re not careful, you could still end up with heatstroke. 

I say skip the run on the really hot days and do some laps in the pool instead. 



Keeping cool this summer

June 25, 2010

Summer is already kicking into high gear here in New York.  Heat!  Humidity!

If the sunny weather has you itching to take your workout outside…you’re nuts!  Just kidding.   But do me a favor and follow these simple steps to avoid dehydration and heat stroke.  (I know you’ve probably heard them before, but they’re worth repeating.)

  • Drink, drink and then drink some more.  A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 20 ounces of water before a workout and then 8 ounces every 15-20 minutes while exercising.  How can you tell if you’re drinking enough?  Weigh yourself before and after working out.  If you’re 1-2 pounds lighter post-run, you’ve got to drink more.
  • Hey, slow down!  Look, I know you want to go out there and give it your all, all the time, but when the heat index (that’s temperature and humidity) is hovering near 90, take it easy.  Your body is already warmer than usual and you’re going to hit your max heart rate faster on a hot and humid summer day, then a crisp fall day. 
  • Exercise early or late.  Just avoid the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak and temperatures are at their hottest.  If you can’t, then accept the fact that you’ll just have to stick to the air-conditioned gym for your workouts.
  • Wear Sunscreen!  You know why.  Enough said.