Staying Cool and Avoiding Heatstroke

heat-strokeIt’s summertime, and you know what that means: making the most of the outdoors while you can! For the next few months, the clouds disappear and we are treated to our annual dose of sun. You’ve got to enjoy it while you still can.

I’ve written a couple blogs about why it’s so important to get outdoors, and how you can really use this time to help with your fitness. It gets you some healthy vitamin D, it adds some variety to your weekly fitness experience, and best of all, you get to enjoy yourself as you do it. Be sure to check out my blogs on the matter if you have a moment.

But something else comes with summer that we aren’t necessarily used to, and that’s some serious heat. The sun is out a lot more than normal, and things start to really heat up right around the beginning of July. Heck, this coming week is seeing a forecast well into the triple digits, with 102 estimated on Thursday.

Like all things in life, too much of a good thing definitely comes into play when it comes to spending time outdoors. Like any machine, well oiled or not, our bodies can get overheated when we spend too much time in the sun. This condition is commonly known as a heatstroke or sunstroke, and can be caused by spending too much time in severely hot weather with little to no water to hydrate.

Make no mistake, getting a little overheated can be VERY dangerous. Prolonged exposure can cause damage to internal organs and even brain damage, especially if you’re not drinking enough water.

These next few days, if you plan on spending some time outdoors, make sure you watch out for some common symptoms of heatstroke both in yourself and anyone you might be outdoors with. Symptoms include:

  • A throbbing headache, along with dizziness or a light-headed feeling
  • Dry, red skin that is warm or hot
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Unconsciousness or seizures

If you start to notice symptoms in yourself or in others, get yourself or your friend out of the sun immediately and seek medical attention. Heatstroke is not something to be taken lightly. Trust me, it isn’t a sign of weakness from spending so much time under rain clouds. Even natives to regions like Texas, Arizona, or Nevada suffer the same ill effects from spending too much time in the sun.

So do yourself a favor. Enjoy the sun, but drink plenty of water while you’re out there. And on Thursday, when it gets to 102, make sure you come to Boomer Fitness instead! We’ve got air conditioning and plenty of water, and some people who will be enjoying a Bootcamp, some personal training, or just escaping the extreme heat by burning some calories instead.

Keeping a Clean House: The Showers

20150519_104725I don’t know about you, but I know there have been times where I’ve been afraid to even step foot into a corporate gyms shower. They can be unhygienic, dirty, and some don’t even work. Sometimes its just a gamble to see if the shower has luke warm water or fridged cold. Don’t even hope for any hot water.

I can’t understand why this is considered excusable, either! A lot of people go to the gym in the middle of the day, and either have to go back to work afterward, or want to go home. Either way, you don’t want to get in your car with your gym clothes on. But risking yourself at a gym shower which looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in days, or even weeks? It feels like being stuck between an unhygienic rock and a smelly hard place.

Some gyms put the entire focus on gym equipment, but completely neglect other aspects of the gym. Sure, widescreen televisions are great, but is that really where the priority should be? Some private gyms I’ve seen don’t even offer showers to begin with.

It’s not just about keeping a clean house, either. When you join a gym, you want to to be comfortable in your environment. That’s why I’m so proud of our facility here at Boomer Fitness. We keep a clean set of showers, always stocked with clean towels, soaps, and shampoos. It has hot water (not lukewarm, but HOT!), and is available for all members. And you will never, ever have to worry about whether it was cleaned recently. We are very lucky to be working with The Cleaning Authority, who comes in and makes sure our showers are up to our standards.

To me, this shouldn’t have to be advertised as another service. It’s a basic necessity among gyms. It’s just one more reason why Boomer Fitness takes gym membership to a whole new level.