Wellness Wednesday: Beat the Summer Heat – How to Prevent Hyperthermia and Other Heat-Related Illnesses


Photo by Hanna Duenkel

By Sarah Perry, ATC
Wellness Blog Contributor
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(August 3, 2016) — School starting in August means the end of the summer and beginning of the fall, but Virginia’s hot and humid weather always sticks around, and you should expect no different as the 2016-2017 school year approaches. With these hot temperatures comes the risk of heat-related illnesses.

It is important that athletes in the area stay safe and healthy when they exercise outside or continue to enjoy outdoor activities even after summer break ends.

Hot and humid weather conditions can be dangerous; that’s why parents, coaches and athletic trainers have to constantly stress the importance of staying hydrated and being prepared for training outside.

When it is hot and humid, everyone should be cautious when doing physical activity outside: children and the elderly are especially at risk.

Hot and humid weather conditions can cause hyperthermia meaning your body temperature rises significantly above normal. They can also cause dehydration.

So how can you protect yourself and prevent these issues from occurring?  Here are some simple tips to incorporate into your daily workout and fitness routine during these hot seasons:

Stay Hydrated:

  • You should begin to hydrate a full 24 hours before you exercise.
  • Drink 17-20 ounces of water or a sports drink two to three hours before you begin an activity and then another 7-10 ounces 20 minutes before the activity.

A simple way to monitor your hydration level is checking your urine color. If you are properly hydrated, your urine should be a light yellow color, like lemonade. If your urine is dark it indicates you are dehydrated. Replenish your fluids with water or drinks that are rich in electrolytes.

Wear Appropriate Clothing:

  • Make sure you dress in clothing that does not lock in heat or moisture. Try to find clothes made from “moisture wicking” material; this means the fabric pulls moisture away from the skin.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather to prevent overheating.

Rule of thumb, be aware!  Be sure to monitor your local weather forecast and plan accordingly. Use these tools to have a safe, active and fun summer and fall season!

Note from our sponsor: The physical therapists and athletic trainers at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center will work one on one with you to design a treatment plan that helps you meet your goals. Call us TODAY to speak to a member of our team: 703-450-4300.

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About Author

Loudoun Sports Therapy Center is a premier physical therapy clinic. We offer outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy as well as specialty programs.

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