Exercising in heat, humidity can lead to heat-related illness

Exercising in heat humidity can lead to heatrelated illness

COLUMBIA, Mo. - With temperatures nearing 100 degrees, it's important to take precautions if you plan on exercising in the heat. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin when you exercise in order to cool you down. But, the process leaves less blood for your muscles, which increases your heart rate. 

The humidity only makes things worse. When it's humid outside, sweat does not readily evaporate from your skin, pushing your body temperature even higher. Exposure to humidity and high temperatures for an extended period of time can lead to heat-related illness, including heat exhaustion or heatstroke. 

With heat exhaustion, your body temperature rises to 104 degrees. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, fainting, sweating and cold, clammy skin. 

If heat exhaustion is left untreated, it can lead to heatstroke, which can be deadly. This happens when your body temperature rises above 104 degrees. Immediate medical attention is required in order to prevent brain damage, organ failure or death. 

When you exercise in the heat, you should pay attention for signs of heat-related illness. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms may include: 

  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vision problems

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