Exercise-Related Heat Exhaustion

It’s summertime, and as the days get hotter and hotter, everyone should be cautious of the scorching hot weather. But if you are going to work out during the summer you should know about exercise-related heat exhaustion. It’s very common, especially in athletes, to brush off and confuse exercise-related heat exhaustion as something else. For example, they may think they are feeling the effects of an intense workout, but it’s exercise-related heat exhaustion. This can lead to some serious complications.

Exercise-related heat exhaustion occurs when your body can no longer regulate your body temperature while you’re exercising. This will cause you to overheat. Factors that contribute are relative humidity of 60% or more, 90 degree heat index, sun exposure, and Poor Air Quality. Your normal body temperature should be 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.. But when your body can no longer maintain its normal temperature it can reach dangerous temperatures.104 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature in which your body achieves heat exhaustion and could lead to a heat stroke.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Fast breathing and heartbeat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Headache
  • Decrease in allowed movement

exercise related heat exhaustionRisk factors

  • Adults over the age of 65
  • young children
  • Those in poor physical shape
  • Not being used to a hot environment
  • Having certain medical conditions that decrease sweat production
  • Taking certain medicines such as stimulants, antihistamines, and medicines for epilepsy


  • heat cramps
  • muscle breakdown
  • heat stroke (stops the basic processes of the body which causes severe problems)
  • seizures
  • heart, kidney, liver, and lung injuries.

Diagnosis and treatment

The ways to test for heat exhaustion revolve around the signs and symptoms. When you go to a healthcare provider they provide blood tests, which can help look at the electrolytes. Urine tests are used to assess the condition of your liver. A chest x-ray is also given to assess the condition of the lungs. Finally an electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to assess your heart rhythm.

man hydrating from heat exhaustion

There is no pharmaceutical medications that can be prescribed. But to treat exercise-related heat exhaustion you should drink plenty of fluids (preferably water or a sports drink). Stay inside and cool down, take off extra clothing, and if you feel it to be serious see a healthcare provider.

Preventative measures

Now if you want to keep exercising in the summer you should consider:

  • Take breaks- This can allow your body to maintain body temperature by giving it a chance to cool down.
  • Stay inside- Try to exercise in a cool environment such as a gym or even your own home.
  • Drink plenty of fluids- Keep your electrolytes up! This will help you stay hydrated and help you sweat.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing- Loose clothing allows air to pass along the skin and exit, speeding evaporation and carrying off excess heat
  • Swimming- swimming will reduce body heat and could be an alternative activity if you are looking to exercise and have fun doing it!
  • Don’t be afraid to stop- if you start to have symptoms of exercise-heat exhaustion then stop get to a cooler area and relax.

personal trainer

How a Personal Trainer Could Protect You

Personal trainers know the difference between their client coping from an intense workout and when they are suffering from heat exhaustion. This is a great advantage to having a personal trainer. If they see their client experiencing exercise-related heat exhaustion, they can and will immediately stop the workout immediately, and tend to their client. Louben Repke is a certified nurse and knows all the symptoms and can treat you with ease. Once again, you should be confident that your personal trainer can do all these things. Here at Repke fitness you don’t need to worry about the weather, our facility is indoors! So come train with us we will help you achieve your goals safely.