COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - When it's a sweltering 99 degrees, should you be exercising outdoors?
That's a hard no, according to experts. But, there are ways to beat the heat:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Listen to your body and your thirst level. If you’re thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitted clothing that will breathe with you. Tank tops are your best option.
- Avoid the peak daytime hours, they’re the hottest! Avoid exercise between 10 AM and 5 PM.
Each person sweats differently and some may sweat more than others. USC Associate Professor Susan Yeargin does a lot of research with athletes. She's also active herself. She says on average, she likely sweats about one liter per hour. For men, she says it's probably slightly more on average. You may not even realize you've lost that much fluid, she says, so it's important to replenish them throughout the day.
She also says you have to keep an eye out for heat illness because it can creep up fast.
"Has the person been exercising out in the heat? Have they been pushing themselves too hard?" Yeargin says. "Are they acting weird and funny and not themselves? Are they a little confused on where they are, maybe emotionally being a little unstable? Those are some key symptoms to a heat illness."
There are differences and similarities between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency, and if you see someone exhibiting signs such as altered mental state, increased body temperature, hot and dry skin, or confusion – you should call 911.
Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke but presents with heavy sweating, dizziness, fatigue, cramps, nausea, and headaches.
To start, make sure you move the affected person to a shaded or air-conditioned area and administer fluids and salt.