Summer has arrived and so has the heat. As you continue exercising this summer, remember to protect your body from injury due to overheating. When the environmental temperature rises, the body has increased difficulty cooling itself through its normal means. Heat stroke from exercise is one of the three leading causes of sudden death in sports activities.1
This refers to a spectrum of disorders resulting from total body heat stress. This can include cramps, heat exhaustion, heat injury and heat stroke. The symptoms and treatments for each of these vary slightly, however heat exhaustion and heat stroke are two of the most severe.
Heat exhaustion is a result of overheating. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.
Heat stroke indicates brain function is compromised and can be fatal if left untreated.
It is important to note that there are various internal and external factors that can put you at risk for exertional heat injury. Some of these factors are within your control. Please use good judgment prior to initiating a workout this summer. Below are some risk factors to look out for:
The best way to protect yourself from exertional heat injury is to be educated on ways to prevent it in the first place. Use these suggestions to keep you and your workouts safe in the summertime heat.
If you feel you are suffering from any heat related illness, please contact your physician. If you have questions regarding a physical injury, please contact Athletico for a free injury screen.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Casa DJ, Demartini JK, Bergeron MF, et al. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Exertional Heat Illnesses. J Athl Train. 2015;50(9):986-1000.
2. Nichols AW. Heat-related illness in sports and exercise. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2014;7(4):355-65.
3. Racinais S, Alonso JM, Coutts AJ, et al. Consensus recommendations on training and competing in the heat. Br J Sports Med. 2015;49(18):1164-73.