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Your Heat Exhaustion Could Turn into A Heatstroke – Here’s How to Stop It

If you are someone who exercises frequently or spends a lot of time in the sunny outdoors, you have probably experienced the symptoms of heat exhaustion. People are often quick to dismiss the tell-tale signs, underplaying it as something that is part and parcel of outdoor activity. However, when left untreated, a case of heat fatigue can rapidly develop into heatstroke with much more severe consequences, so it is important to recognize and alleviate the symptoms as soon as they happen.

Here are some common symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Heavy Perspiration
  • Rapid Pulse
  • Clammy Skin and/or Parlor
  • Extreme Fatigue to the Point of Collapse
  • Nausea
  • Headache and/or Migraine
  • Light-Headedness
  • Fainting

You can expect to experience one or two mild variations of these signs when exerting yourself. Yet, if you begin to experience a combination of them, it is wise to consider treating yourself:

  1. Cool Yourself Down

    Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock: Cooling down the body temperature could be a quick solution to prevent a heatstroke

    Immediately halt any vigorous physical activity if you are engaged in one, and get out of the heat. If possible, go indoors, preferably with air conditioning to bring down your core body temperature quickly. A refreshing shower can also help lower your body temperature.

  1. Hydrate Yourself

    instacruising/Shutterstock: Staying hydrated is one of the most effective measures to avoid getting a heatstroke

    Heavy perspiration can quickly drain your body of much-needed fluids, so replenish them by drinking water. Sports drinks are also a good option as they contain hydrating electrolytes.

  1. Loosen Tight Clothing

    BAZA Production/Shutterstock: Allow your skin to breathe

    If you have been running in tights or wearing a Fitbit, remove all pieces of restrictive clothes and accessories. This will prevent your attire from trapping heat and help you cool down faster.

If you continue to experience heat exhaustion symptoms for an hour after following these tips, or if the symptoms get worse—do not waste any more time in seeking medical attention.

While heat exhaustion could, in theory, affect anyone, demographics show that

  • Children under the age of 4, as well as senior citizens over the age of 65, are more at risk than any other age group.
  • Those who are just getting into exercise and have bodies less accustomed to rigorous activity are at higher risk.
  • Those who work out in hot, humid temperatures that interfere with the body’s ability to cool down are also at higher risk.
  • Those who regularly take medication like antihistamines are at higher risk as these drugs disrupt your biological temperature regulation processes.

If you belong to any of the aforementioned demographics, take extra care and precaution when you work out.

Of course, the proverbial prevention is better than cure. Regardless of which category you fall under, there are simple steps you can take to keep heat exhaustion at bay altogether.

  • Do not exercise in the sweltering heat. If you want to run or exercise outdoors, check the weather app, and choose times when temperatures are cool. The evening is an ideal time. If you are unable to make time, consider workout indoors instead.
  • Do not hesitate to take breaks. While it can be tempting to power through a routine and finish it sooner, it is important to give your body adequate time to cool down. Take a quick 10-minute break for every 40 minutes of physical activity.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Always carry a water bottle or ensure that you have access to a water cooler. Drink whatever at least once for every 20 minutes of exercise, and do not wait for the thirst to set in.

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