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.

Fitness – Do it for your Health

Bored, overweight man sits on the sofaTo some, fitness might be seen a hobby, or something to pass the time. It might be something a family member does, or even something you’re planning on doing in the future.

Have you ever noticed that the future always seems to be a week away? It’s always something that will get done eventually, when you have more time. When it’s more convenient. But we always seem to find time to catch up on that show we’re watching.

If you know me, you know I don’t like to sugar coat things. To me, the truth is always more important than lies meant to make us feel better, no matter how hard it is to hear.

So let me put it bluntly. Personal fitness is not something you can afford to delay for the future. Personal fitness is the first step of combatting an early death.

I do not say this lightly. The world we live in today is extremely tough for our body. We eat processed foods full of sugar and unnecessary carbohydrates. We lounge on our day off, and pour ourselves an extra drink after working in the yard.

If you’re not getting yourself to the gym, you’re putting yourself in danger many issues surrounding a stagnant lifestyle. Dangers that are much more inconvenient than a trip to the gym, I might add. Most of those who choose not to exercise are at a high risk without even knowing it.  Here are just a few of the big name issues you’re going to be facing:

Prone to Type II Diabetes – The more sugar in your diet, the more insulin your body has to produce. The more insulin your pancreas produces, the harder it works, which can lead to a shut-down and lead to Type II Diabetes. Sugar is found in many processed foods, in places you might least expect. Check out this trailer for Fed Up, a movie which documents how prevalent sugar is in our food.

Higher Risk of Heart Disease – Build-up of body fat means a build-up of plaque in your arteries, which means your heart is going to be working on overtime to get blood to your extremities. This means you’re going to have a higher risk of heart attacks, higher blood pressure, and discomfort with minor exertion.

Higher Risk of Stroke – Your heart isn’t the only victim of plaque in the arteries. Blood clots can form, which means your going to be at a much higher risk of stroke.

Sleep Apnea – When your body becomes overweight, you will begin to struggle for breath as you sleep. To breath properly as you sleep, doctors will sometimes prescribe a mask to wear at night which assists in breathing.

Prone to Gallstones – Your body is working at full capacity just to keep you functioning while you’re overweight. This means some parts of your body, like your gall bladder, are going to be working on overtime. Gallstones are made of cholesterol, and can cause some severe stomach and back pain.

There’s no way to pretend these issues don’t take their toll on your body. But it’s never hopeless. Even if you already have some of these issues, it is never too late to start making progress. At Boomer Fitness, we’re dedicated to making sure you have the knowledge and foresight to turn your life around and start making the healthy choices.

Give me a call when you’re ready to make the change, and we’ll set you up with a tour of the gym!