Schedule Appointment

How to Prevent Hyperthermia and Other Heat-related Illnesses

Physical Therapy

By Sarah Perry, ATC

With recent record-breaking temperatures, we want to make sure you know how to prevent hyperthermia and other heat-related illnesses.  Memorial Day weekend is behind us signifying the unofficial start to summer.  School is almost done for the year, community pools are open, and many spring sports teams are well underway.  As the weather gets warmer and temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat-related illnesses.  Our staff at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center wants to make sure our patients are being safe and healthy when they exercise outside or start enjoying other outdoor activities.

I am an Exercise Specialist at LSTC but I am also a Certified Athletic Trainer.  I have worked with my share of sports teams from football to basketball to track.  One of my main goals is to help prevent injury or harm to athletes.  Some of the most common issues I see though when working with these teams are heat-related.  Hot and humid weather conditions can be dangerous.  I cannot stress enough the importance of staying hydrated and being prepared for spring and the upcoming summer season.

When it is hot and humid, everyone should be cautious when doing physical activity outside; children and the elderly are especially at risk.  These weather conditions can cause hyperthermia meaning your body temperature rises significantly above normal.  They can also cause dehydration.

So how can you protect yourself and prevent these issues from occurring?  Here are some simple tips to incorporate into your daily workout and fitness routine during these hot seasons:

Stay Hydrated:

  • You should begin to hydrate a full 24 hours before you exercise.
  • Drink 17-20 ounces of water or a sports drink 2 to 3 hours before you begin an activity and then another 7-10 ounces 20 minutes before the activity.

A simple way to monitor your hydration level is checking your urine color.  If you are properly hydrated, your urine should be a light yellow color, like lemonade.  If your urine is dark it indicates you are dehydrated.  Replenish your fluids with water or drinks that are rich in electrolytes.

Wear Appropriate Clothing:

  • Make sure you dress in clothing that does not lock in heat or moisture. Try to find clothes made from ‘moisture wicking’ material.  This means the fabric pulls moisture away from the skin.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather to prevent overheating.

Rule of thumb, be aware!  Be sure to monitor your local weather forecast and plan accordingly Use these tools to have a safe, active, and fun spring and summer season!

The physical therapists and athletic trainer at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center will work one on one with you to design a treatment plan that helps you meet your goals.  Call us TODAY to speak to a member of our team: 703-450-4300.