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Exercising in the Heat – What you need to know:

As the summer begins and temperatures rise, heat related illness becomes more common. At Ross Medical Group, Dr. David Ross has some information to keep you safe while exercising and playing sports in the warmer and more humid weather.

Heat illness can cause problems such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. During exercise your body produces heat and your temperature goes up. In order to keep the body cool, you will sweat. When the sweat evaporates, it cools your skin. If the temperature is too hot and the humidity is high, sweating alone may not cool your body enough to keep your internal temperature from rising to dangerous levels. Once your body temperature goes above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, your body can have trouble cooling itself.

As your body gets hotter and is unable to cool down, symptoms may begin. First, you can become dehydrated and get heat cramps. Your symptoms may get more severe and can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion and even syncope. Heat stroke can lead to coma and injury to your body’s organs.

In order to prevent heat illness, make sure that you do the following things:

  1. Acclimatize to exercising in the heat, start slow and build up the amount of time you are exercising outside in the heat
  2. Avoid dehydration – you can lose up to 2 quarts of water for every hour that you exercise. Drinking 1 cup of water every 15 minutes can keep you well hydrated.
  3. If exercising for an hour or more, you can lose a lot of salt through your sweat. Drinking sports drinks or electrolyte replacements can help replenish the sodium, potassium and chloride that you lose while exercising.
  4. Wear loose fitting, light colored clothes
  5. If you feel ill while exercising in the heat, stop immediately, find a shady place, hydrate and cool down. Call somebody immediately.


Call Ross Medial Group to set up a consultation with Dr. David Ross to discuss maintaining proper hydration and improving your performance while exercising in the heat. Please call 305-279-7677 or email us at

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