Amateur runner, Cynthia Lucero was preparing to meet "the wall" during the final six miles of the 2002 Boston Marathon when her legs began to falter. It was a fatal effort to finish a race she used to raise awareness for the Leukemia Society. Instead, she raised another type of awareness for individuals involved in hot weather training and exercise called Hyponatremia or over-hydrating. For years, sports enthusiasts and athletes have known the dangers of dehydration and drink substantial amounts of fluids in the form of water or electrolyte. However, sodium and potassium are also lost from heavy sweating during hot weather months. Cynthia consumed plenty of fluids throughout the marathon and suffered from low levels of sodium in her blood. Competition and better fitness training during hot weather requires consumption of both fluids and electrolytes to maintain proper balance of sodium, potassium and water.
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Hyponatremia is a condition that has gained recent recognition especially following the 2002 Boston Marathon. It has changed the way many consider Gatorade versus water hot weather exercise fluid replacement. The awareness has caused sport drink providers to offer electrolyte drinks with higher amounts of sodium and potassium in addition to regular sports drinks. There are also alternatives to salt replacement including salt tablets and salty foods like pretzels. Endurance sports often include salty snacks at the aid stations along with water and Gatorade.
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Those involved in hot weather exercise should think like world-class athletes. Endurance athletes often determine sweat rate by measuring weight before and after an exercise routine. Most weight loss is attributed to fluids where one pound equals one pint of fluid. Some individuals sweat more than others. Dehydration and exercise in hot weather months depends on preparations to maintain a safe exercise routine. Water or sports drink consumption should equal the amount of fluids lost in the same period of time to prevent over-hydration. Better exercise training incorporates a balance of fluids and salts in the form of sports drinks, salt tablets or salty foods. The choice depends on the individual.
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Better exercise training particularly in warm weather months helps acclimate the body to warmer weather while improving overall fitness. It is not necessary to avoid exercising in hotter temperatures when properly educated on water retention hot weather exercise. For individuals new to any exercise program, it is always wise to consult a physician to learn of any limitations. A doctor could also recommend safe methods for avoiding Hyponatremia.
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The human body is capable of adjusting to the prevailing weather conditions. This is done by retaining or releasing the heat according to the external temperature. Skin, which is the largest organ of the human body, does this job efficiently. When the external temperature is cold, the skin keeps the blood away from it and this prevents loss of heat. On the other hand, when the weather is hot, the skin allows the blood closer to it and due to this, heat is let out.
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Perspiration is another factor that can help your body to adjust to the external climate. When the atmosphere is hot, there will be perspiration and when sweat evaporates, heat of your body will get reduced. But, if the external climate is extremely hot, your blood will not be as warm as the atmospheric air and so, heat can not escape from your body. If humidity is also there, your sweat will not evaporate as fast as it should. So, heat will continue to remain in the body and this is an illness. This is known as the heat stroke. That is the reason dehydration takes place when extreme heat and moisture content are present in the atmosphere. You should follow a few steps to protect yourself from this problem.
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Unless it is absolutely necessary, you should not venture out during such extreme hot weather conditions. If you can not avoid it, you should protect yourself as best as you can. Especially, your head and face should be protected from the sun's rays.
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It is absolutely necessary that you should drink lots of liquids. Water is the finest drink on earth and you should ensure to drink plenty of it. You should not wait for getting thirsty. Feeling thirsty is a symptom that shows that you are reaching the point of dehydration.
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You should reduce, or if possible, completely avoid drinking alcoholic beverages in such hot weather conditions. These beverages are capable of dehydrating your body.
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You are advised to switch to a judicious diet regimen during such climates. Your diet should be well-balanced and should contain all the essential vitamins and minerals. You should also ensure to take your food on time.