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Fit Tip: Prevent Heat Exhaustion

Summer is often accompanied by high temperature, and exercising in high temperatures can be accompanied by heat exhaustion. If the temperature is above 85°F or you're not used to exercising in the heat, your body may end up overheating – even if you're working out in a hot, humid room. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive sweating, clammy skin, dilated pupils, dizziness, weakness, nausea or vomiting, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, or passing out. Definitely not the side effects you want from working out and not fun. You can prevent heat exhaustion from happening to you.

Here's how:

  • Avoid working out during the times of day when the sun is the strongest. Rearrange your schedule and exercise in the early morning or after the sun sets when the air is cooler.
  • Try to exercise in shaded areas or move your workouts indoors to an air-conditioned room.
  • Make sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workout. Keep a water bottle with you and as you feel yourself sweating, sip on it every once in a while to replenish lost fluids. If you are working out for longer than 30 minutes consider sipping on a sports drink, and if you are working out for over an hour definitely replace lost electrolytes while on the go.

To find out what else you can do


  • Consider moving your workout to the water and try swimming or kayaking.
  • Wear loose, light-colored clothing that allows your skin to breathe. Wearing a sun hat is not a bad idea to help shade the sun off your head and neck. Make sure that the hat breathes as well.
  • If you feel yourself getting too hot, reduce the intensity of your workout or take a rest. Pushing yourself will only make your symptoms worse.

Fit's Tips: High blood pressure can put you at greater risk for heat exhaustion, so get yours checked out.


addywisbef addywisbef 9 years
I tried running outdoors yesterday, which ended up being the hottest day of the year, and I couldn't finish my workout. I followed all of the tips, but I couldn't make it. So, off to the gym I go!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Ugh, I sweat SO much when I work out in the summer. When I was done using the elliptical machine today, the pedals had pools of sweat in them...gross!!!! I drink a lot of fluid and I make sure I get plenty of sodium/potassium so I don't get hyponatremia. Still, if it's too hot, I'll crank the AC and work out completely inside.
pigs-fly pigs-fly 9 years
I seem to overheat in ANY condition. Several minutes into my run, even if it's cool, I'm DRIPPING with sweat and feeling very hot. It's actually the hardest part of my run - and my least favorite thing about going to the gym because I sweat more than most of the GUYS! I even had my thyroid checked out to see if my ol' internal thermostat was on the fritz, but everything was fine. Anybody have any suggestions?
Swedeybebe Swedeybebe 9 years
ick urban, i dont blame you.... the only thing that sucks about only running on the treadmill is its not really possible to train for a running event. you gotta get the pavement! totally regretting signing up for a half marathon on labor day weekend :(
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 9 years
Um this is why I go to the gym. Also, why I took up running on treadmill instead of outside when its like 115 degrees (literally). There is nothing quit like the feeling of your skin melting in the sun...
Swedeybebe Swedeybebe 9 years
yeah its been a little too hot to run outside at my usual time lately! gotta switch it up. i tend to lose LOTS of sodium when i work out(hypo-natremia = not fun!), so i use salt tabs as well.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
good tips. I'm going to start swimming more. I want to run outside, but I tried and at 5:30am it was already 85. It SUCKS!
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