SIGNS OF OVERHEATING?

This year the Kaiser ½ Marathon fell on an unseasonably warm day. With many years of training experience, I have learned to expect any and all types of weather from sleet and rain to near 80-degree weather.  You just never know what to expect on Super Bowl Sunday in San Francisco.  I crossed the finish line and waited for my mother to also finish.  I waited what felt like forever-immediately I thought, “Gosh is she okay?” – Why is she taking longer than her expected 2:00 race? Then I heard the sirens and saw the paramedics coming to the finish line.  I ran to see if it was my mother – Sadly I saw a young man receiving chest compressions at the finish line. Unfortunately the man at the finish line did not make it.  We are deeply saddened by this news at CPMC Physical Therapy as there were a few of us running the Kaiser who saw him and others in enough distress to receive medical attention on the course.

As a physical therapist – we have extensive training on how to recognize signs of our patients overexerting themselves. We take courses on cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. But do YOU know –how to recognize when your body is WORKING TOO HARD ESPECIALLY IN THE HEAT! DO YOU KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS? Here are a few signs of over heating:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Increased heart rate and respiration
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Flushed skin
  • Feeling very hot, sometimes followed by chills
  • Lack of perspiration

Tips that can help you shed heat and race safely:

  • Drink enough fluids and electrolytes before you become thirsty
  • Wear layers of clothing to the race and shed them appropriately
  • In warm weather, wear white
  • If you have dark hair, wear a white hat with good ventilation
  • Wear clothing with good ventilation and wicking
  • Run in the shade as much as possible
  • Run with a buddy, so that they can observe signs of confusion or distress

Sometimes your body gives you clear warning signs sometimes it does not. We just want to let you know of a few warning signs and tips that may be able to help you or a loved one someday.   As for my loved one,  my mom- she had a PR and came 4th in her age group. I missed her at the finish line because she was just soooo fast.

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