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How can I prevent heat exhaustion?

When the summer sun begins to heat up your exercise habits, be sure to let your body adjust to your new workout temperature gradually.

People who are not used to exercising in hot weather are at greater risk of developing heat stroke. Allow your body to get accustomed to warmer workouts gradually by engaging in only moderately difficult activities during midday for a few weeks. Save hard workouts for the cooler mornings or evenings.

Exertional heat stroke occurs when physical activities combined with hot environmental temperatures overwhelm the body. The high body temperatures that result can cause organ damage. Symptoms of heat stroke include not only the signs of heat exhaustion (headache, weakness, lightheadedness, muscle aches, muscle cramps and agitation) but also the following symptoms: mental confusion, strange behavior, seizure and coma. If you start to feel odd while exercising, take a break in the shade and drink plenty of water. You may need to quit for the day and pick up your routine at another, cooler time. Also, never exercise in extreme heat.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.