Heat dangerous for exercise on mid-Missouri trails

Experts: Even early morning, late evening exercise dangerous in heat

COLUMBIA, Mo. - When Kym Smith, of Kingdom City, put her bike back on the rack in the MKT Trail parking lot just off West Boulevard Wednesday, she knew it had been time to stop.

"My buddies just left me," she said. "They've already biked since Jeff City and they'll hit 35 miles by the time they hit Flat Branch, so I just said 'go ahead, I'm stopping here.'"

With temperatures hovering in the mid-90s and heat indices even higher, experts are warning that even early morning and late evening exercise outdoors can be dangerous.

"Definitely if you start getting nauseous, with heat exhaustion, you're going to really start sweating profusely," said Wilsons Fitness Manager Jeff Smith. "You're already exercising, but if your heart rate is faster than it should be you're in trouble."

There was no one exercising outside the Wilsons Fitness on Forum Boulevard, even as the sun started to set Wednesday. Smith said it was because of the continued heat.

"Coming up with a different option, a different workout plan and getting in some place with air conditioning is just smart," he said.

Back at the MKT Trail, Kym Smith, no relation to Jeff, was putting her water bottle and snacks away. An avid rider, she told ABC 17 News those were critical pieces to keeping safe, along with her cell phone.

"Your body tells you and you'll have signs if you're getting too hot and overheated," she said. "You've just got to pay attention."

Smith and her friends had been on the trails all day, and reported having them much to themselves as people stayed away during the heat, even as the sun went down.

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