It’s officially summer. And in ATX, that means extremely hot. Unfortunately, air temperature doesn't tell the whole story. The "feels like" temperature, or heat index, is much more accurate.
WHY DOES HEAT INDEX MATTER?
Sweat EVAPORATION is how your body cools itself. And on humid days, when the air is already saturated with water, sweat evaporates more slowly. Which explains why you feel so much hotter.
In other words, 94-degrees/50% humidity "feels like" 103 degrees. And when that happens, you are at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
WHAT IS HEAT EXHAUSTION?
Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can occur after you've been exposed to high temperatures. Dehydration often plays a big role in heat exhaustion.
WHAT IS HEAT STROKE?
Unfortunately, if left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress into heat stroke. And heat stroke, also called sunstroke, is a very serious heat-related illness. It occurs when your body's temperature is 104ºF or higher. And it's no joke - it's a life-threatening medical emergency.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke include:
- Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
- Dizziness or fainting
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Rapid heartbeat
- GET OUT OF THE SUN
- Remove one or more articles of clothing
- Run cool water over the skin or apply cool, wet towels
- Drink water or sports drinks
- IF YOU VOMIT OR FEEL NAUSEOUS, seek medical attention immediately
- Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day
- Stay in the shade when outdoors
- Drink extra water/sports drinks
- Take frequent breaks
- Wear loose, light-colored, breathable fabrics like cotton
Although you may do the majority of your training indoors, that doesn't mean you're not at risk. Heat-related illnesses can occur during low-intensity activities, too. You can suffer from heat exhaustion while doing yard work, hiking on the Greenbelt, grilling in the backyard or even lounging at the beach. It's really important to know what to do if you experience any of these symptoms. We want you to be safe!