It’s now coming into summer and getting warmer every day, this means the chances of succumbing to heat exhaustion are higher than ever when you’re out exercising.
As a Queenslander and keen runner, Scott Whimpey from First Aid Accident & Emergency explains some of the issues around exercising in the heat.
Heat exhaustion is caused due to a loss of salt and fluid from the body, usually due to excessive exercise and sweating. Runners that aren’t used to the heat and humidity, are most at risk in these situations, Scott explains.
“If you are jogging or exercising in warm environments, make sure you are well hydrated prior to the session, drinking enough fluid including water or sports drink through the day and week, will ensure your hydration is in check. How much fluid is enough, this is the magic question I get asked all the time, usually about 2 Litres per day, or use the old school check on yourself when your in the bathroom, if your urine is pale, then your about hydrated enough” Scott says.
Scott continues, “you can always jog with a water bottle in hand and mix 50% water and 50% sports drink, drinking straight sports drink is a bit much for most people and remember to sip the drink a bit at a time, don’t take large amounts at once as this can cause a big stitch”.
Keep an eye on your exercising buddies as well, sometimes they wont know they are in trouble, here is what to look for if they start to get heat stress:
SYMPTOMS OF HEAT STRESS AND EXHAUSTION:
Heat exhaustion can take a while to effect a person, it can also strike like lightening, common symptoms include:
Dizziness and confusion
Loss of appetite, feeling sick and vomiting
Sweating and pale, clammy skin
Weakening pulse and feeling faint
Collapse and unconsciousness
HOW TO TREAT SOMEONE WITH SIGNS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION:
Help take the patient to a shady place and get them to sit or lie down.
Loosen tight clothing and pour water over their head and neck.
Give them sips of water or sports drink – remember to sip and a good thing to mix 50/50 water and sports drink, this can help replace the sodium and fluid they have lost by sweating.
Keep checking their general wellness and appearance.
If they recover, ensure to monitor the person and get them to continue hydrating over the next few hours.
If they seem to be getting worse, call 000 as they may need an IV drip to re-hydrate.