What’s the best way to deal with the heat?

D0me5t1qu3/ October 17, 2021/ Games, News and Technology, Sport/ 0 comments

Heat stroke is a serious illness and those most at risk include adults aged over 65 years, babies and young children, pregnant women, people with existing medical conditions and those on particular medications. Most obviously, those who already have heart problems are at particular risk.

Such is the risk of heat illness that 10,000 excess deaths occurred during a heatwave in Europe in 2003.

In the Australian summer of 2009, hot conditions in Victoria and South Australia were linked with higher rates of illness and more than 200 extra deaths than would normally occur, particularly among the elderly and those with heart disease.

Early signs of heat exhaustion can include dizziness, headache and nausea. More severe cases of heat stroke involve hot dry skin with (paradoxically) no sweating, confusion and fainting.

Sports Medicine Australia has produced a helpful guide to performance of sport or exercise in hot weather, which details the risk and symptoms of heat illness.

For professional athletes, exercising in warm conditions can improve performance and is sometimes essential to prepare for different environmental conditions, such as preparing for an Olympic games in a hot country.

Regardless, it’s important to take precautions to reduce the likelihood of heat illness by staying hydrated, wearing appropriate clothing and knowing your limits.

For people who don’t exercise regularly or those who are at increased risk of heat-related illness, avoid exercising in the heat, such as the middle of the day in summer or rooms with poor air circulation.

Instead, opt for a prescribed, gradual and incremental exercise program that improves your cardiovascular and thermoregulatory tolerance. Gradual and repeated heat exposure, even in the absence of exercise, may also be good for your health.

The good news is that even exercise in normal or cool conditions will improve thermoregulatory capacity and resilience under hot conditions. But if it’s out of the ordinary for you, extreme exercise or exercise in extremes, is equally unwise.

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