How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion While Cycling
While there are many symptoms of heat exhaustion, prevention is the best treatment. Heat illness can be prevented by allowing your body to acclimate to hot weather before engaging in strenuous exercise
For example, it's vital to drink lots of fluids and avoid alcoholic beverages. The more fluids you drink, the less likely you'll become dehydrated while cycling and succumb to heat exhaustion. A few key prevention strategies include taking frequent rests and avoiding physical activities that cause excess body heat.
While heat exhaustion does not usually result in cognitive problems, it can be a warning sign of a more serious condition, heat stroke. This medical condition can lead to unconsciousness, low blood pressure, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
If you are a cyclist, it's especially important to start your rides early. Be sure to monitor your hydration, and drink more if your urine is a yellowish color. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to get medical attention immediately.
If you suspect you're suffering from heat exhaustion, talk to a physician immediately. You might need to rest and acclimate to heat before you can begin exercising at a high level. After a few days or weeks, you can start slowly and increase your exercise duration.
But if you are not sure if you can safely exercise, make sure you have someone nearby who can help you. And if your symptoms don't subside, don't attempt to do any strenuous activities until you've been properly treated.
Taking breaks during intense workouts will help you recover faster from heat exhaustion. While you may hate the idea of running on a treadmill, it's better to take some rest days during the heat than to cancel your run.
The heat makes you feel suffocated and tired. You'll also be less likely to feel fatigued and sore. So, if your goal is to get a workout in the heat, be prepared to rest.
Exercise-induced heat stroke (EHS) is a potentially life-threatening condition resulting from exertion. The air temperature during the race day has a direct relationship with the risk of exertional heat stroke.
In the Boston marathon, there were 3.7 cases per 10,000 starters, representing only 0.5% of all medical encounters. However, there have been reports of four to four cases per 1000 athletic-exposures in American football. And, in very hot desert ultra-marathons, 54 cases were reported.
While dehydration alone isn't enough to cause heat illness, dehydration will help reduce the severity. If the heat is accompanied by humidity, dehydration can be fatal. Heatstroke is the most serious type of heat illness and can be deadly. If you're concerned about your own health, consult a doctor to learn more about the most effective ways to treat heat exhaustion. Using a hydration aid is an excellent way to stay hydrated during a race.
As the body's temperature increases, it sends more blood to the skin to cool down. However, the more sweat you produce, the more your body produces. The body will prioritize cooling over oxygen delivery when you're exercising in the heat. The more sweat you produce, the more likely you'll become dehydrated. The result is an impaired ability to exercise in hot weather. Hence, proper hydration is crucial for preventing heat exhaustion.