How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion

Between the sunny weather (mostly), and the need to socially distance during activity, people are ready to get outside and get more active. With that, comes the risk of heat exhaustion.

What is heat exhaustion?

It is a condition that results when the body overheats. Typically occurring with exposure to high heat, combined with dehydration. Heat cramps would be a more mild form, while heat stroke is the most serious form.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Profuse sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate

How do we prevent heat exhaustion?

What if I want to get outside and be active?

Exercising in heat leads to a lot of fluid loss from the body. It’s been shown that you need to drink at least the equivalent of the fluid lost to maintain a healthy body. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Allow 8-12 hours of recovery time from previous activity
  • Drink 16-20 ounces of fluid 4 hours prior to activity
  • Drink according to your thirst during exercise, but not more than 800 mL
  • If exercising for more than 45 minutes, include a drink with carbohydrates such as a sports drink
  • Post exercise, drink 16-24 oz of fluid for every pound lost

What to do if you get heat exhaustion:

  • Get out of the heat and rest in a cool place
  • Take a cool bath or shower
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Loosen your clothing
  • Seek medical treatment

If you want to read more about why hydration is important when exercising in the heat follow this link. For more recommendations on safe and specific movement practices to keep you healthy, book an appointment with our Reformotiv team. Stay hydrated, stay active, stay safe!

Written by: Kendall Segin, RPT