Much of Australia is seeing record temps this week just as many of us are in full swing with our new year resolutions of being fit and healthy. As the mercury rises you need to ensure you are aware of the risks of exercising in the warmer weather and how you can stay out of harms way.

Sports Physician and Sports Medicine Australia spokesperson, Dr David Bolzonello says that while physical activity is important for overall health, in the hotter months certain precautions need to be taken to avoid heat injuries. “Those exercising need to know what can contribute to heat illness, such as high air temperature, heavy clothing, high humidity, lack of fitness and high exercise intensity. They should also know the symptoms of heat illness – light-headedness, nausea, headache, confusion, not sweating, and aggressive or irrational behaviour.”

It is most important to remember that children are at greater risk of heat illness as their bodies respond less efficiently to heat, feel hotter and have greater difficulty getting rid of heat from their body. Sports Medicine Australia offers the following Summer safety tips:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after exercise
  • Schedule activity to avoid the hottest part of the day
  • Take rest breaks, in the shade if possible
  • Wear light coloured, lightweight and loose fitting clothing that allows easy evaporation of sweat from the skin. Wear sunglasses, 30+ sunscreen and a hat
  • Reduce the duration and intensity of a warm up to minimise an increase in body heat and temperature
  • Do not take part in strenuous activity if you have recently experienced a high temperature, infection, diarrhoea or vomiting
  • If you have a medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, a heart problem, epilepsy or obesity, are taking medication, or are pregnant; you may experience difficulties exercising in the heat. If unsure you should seek advice from a sports medicine professional
  • Persons suffering from heat illness can recover rapidly with assistance – laying down in a cool place, removing excess clothing, wetting skin or using ice packs, and drinking cool water. However if symptoms do not improve, seek medical assistance

For further advice visit the Sports Medicine Australia website.


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