The most significant finding of this 10-year study was that heat-related illnesses have increased by 133 percent. That's huge. Add to that the fact that 10 percent of the illnesses were significant enough for the patients to be admitted to the hospital for treatment, and we're talking about a serious problem here.
More: 11 Hydration Strategies for Hot Weather
No, this is not the perfect excuse to skip your workout.
If you're going to be performing any type of physical activity you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and you need to take steps to prevent yourself from getting overheated.
You can protect yourself in the following ways:
- On very hot or humid days exercise in the mornings or evenings when the temperature is cooler; exercise in an air-conditioned building if possible
- Wear light-colored, lightweight and moisture-wicking clothing while exercising
- Carry water with you and drink regularly
- If you start feeling dizzy, lightheaded or unusually fatigued, stop exercising, head to a cool location and rest while drinking water
- Acclimate yourself to new activities or hotter weather by slowly increasing your workload rather than jumping in with both feet
Just remember: When in doubt, take yourself out. Allow yourself to stop exercising and cool down. Once you're cool you can pick your workout up where you left off.
More: An Athlete's Guide to Summer Workout Safety
Stay in shape in a fitness class.