exercise in heat

What you should know when exercising or working in hot or humid environment

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What you should know when exercising or working in hot or humid environment

What you should know when exercising or working in hot or humid environment

At moderate temperatures the body heat generated by exercise or work is easily dissipated. As temperatures increase, the temperature regulating mechanisms increase perspiration rate to keep the body temperature from climbing above tolerable limits (about 102.5° F). (As perspiration evaporates it cools the body.) When humidity is high, it does not evaporate, and no heat is lost. At that point, excessive sweating only contributes to the problem. Perspiration comes from the blood and reduces blood volume. Also, salt and potassium needed by the cells are lost in perspiration.
During work in the heat, it is common to lose more than a quart of sweat an hour. During vigorous exercise in a hot, humid environment, sweat rates can approach 3 quarts an hour for short periods. A good estimate of fluid loss is the body weight difference after work in the heat. Athletes often lose 6 to 8 pounds in a single workout. Adequate replacement of water, salt, and potassium is vital to maintain exercise or work capacity and to avoid heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.
To replace salt loss, use the salt shaker at mealtime. Avoid salt tablets. Potassium must be replaced with citrus fruits or juices. Some commercially available drinks supply fluid and electrolyte (inorganic chemicals for cellular reactions) needs. Another approach is to lightly salt lemonade or to drink tomato juice and water (or tomato juice, then water) in volumes comparable to the fluid loss.
The body adjusts or acclimates to work in the heat. Gradual exposure to exercise in a hot environment leads to changes in blood flow, reduced salt loss, and increased perspiration. After 5 to 7 days your heart rate for the same amount of exercise may decline from 180 to 150 beats per minute. While physically fit individuals may not acclimate more readily to work in the heat, their welltrained circulatory system makes them better suited to its demands. Acciimated individuals should be able to replace salt loss with the saltshaker at meals.

Small changes to extraordinarily improve your health
How important is it to hydrate during workout or exercise?
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