Every July 4th thousands of runners pile into midtown Atlanta to run theAJC Peachtree road race; arguably one of the largest races in the world. July is one of Atlanta's hottest summer months and often times the temperature can reach the upper 90’s. Before heading out this year take heed to the following tips that are sure to help you avoid the dangers of exercising in hot humid weather.
Besides the months of necessary outdoor training required to acclimate the body to exercise
in humid conditions, it’s also important to adequately hydrate before outdoor activity. Pre-hydrating lessens the chance of excess water loss. Drink fluids at regular intervals when working out in hot climates. A dehydrated runner that is not acclimatized to exercise in heat can also suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke; two serious conditions that require medical attention.
Always wear light weight clothing that is well ventilated. Cotton is best as many synthetic fabrics can retain heat and moisture. Light colors reflect heat better than darker ones. Non-breathable fabrics should be avoided. If exercising in a climate where the temperature is subject to change layer clothing that can be easily removed once the temperatures rises.
Perhaps the most important consideration when preparing for the 41st annual July 4th road race alongside thousands of other patriots is to know the warning signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Common signs of heat stroke: Hot, dry skin, bright red skin color, rapid, strong pulse
labored breathing, elevated body temperature
Common signs of heat exhaustion: Weak, rapid pulse, low blood pressure, headache, nausea, elevated body temperature
If heat stroke symptoms are noticed discontinue exercise and remove as much clothing as feasible. Try to cool the body by any means available (wet towels, ice packs, alcohol bathes). Drink fluids and seek immediate medical attention. If symptoms of heat exhaustion become apparent cease exercise and move to a cool ventilated area. Lie down and elevate feet above the head, drink fluids and monitor temperature.
For more info on the 2010 AJC Peachtree Road Race check out active.com