How to Control Your Body Temperature

One of the most difficult things for athletes to do, especially in extreme weather conditions, is to control their core body temperature. On a hot day the body generates heat during exercise at faster rate than the atmosphere will allow it to dissipate. In extreme circumstances, even the atmosphere can make the body temperature rise, let alone allow it to dissipate heat itself.

How to Reduce Body Temperature Quickly

When someone is suffering from overheating immediate action is required. This is one situation where waiting is not advised. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can prove fatal. The important thing to remember is that the core body temperature must be reduced as soon as possible.

Get the person into the shade, or put them into a pool or tub of cold water if one is available and call an ambulance. You must do everything you can to drop their body temperature as quickly as possible.

Avoiding the Causes of High Body Temperature

The best way to treat the above conditions is, of course, to avoid them all together. If you must be active on a very hot day, make sure that you are properly hydrated before you begin. That means drinking plenty the day before your activity.

If you are a runner, plan your daily exercise to be done early in the morning or late in the evening when you will not be exposed to the punishing heat of the direct sunlight. Additional ways to control your body temperature are to wear clothing that allows your sweat to evaporate freely. This is your body's own personal cooling mechanism, and if you do not allow it to breath then it will not work.

A popular practice among many athletes who are trying to maintain a certain weight is to work out in plastic clothes or even trash bags because they feel like this causes them to sweat more and to lose more weight faster. This is a very bad idea.

You sweat just as much working out in regular clothes, you just do not notice it because it is evaporating and doing its job of keeping you cool. If you prevent this process by wearing clothing that keeps the moisture in, then you are not allowing the sweat to evaporate, but are instead holding it in, along with the heat that your body is producing. You are essentially steaming yourself like a vegetable. This is a dangerous habit.

If you sense that you are getting too hot, listen to your body. It is telling you what it needs. Stop, drink, and cool down. If you take care of yourself in the midst of activity, then you should be able to monitor and control your body temperature and be able to resume your activity.

On the other hand, if you ignore your body temperature and allow it to go unchecked, thinking you are invincible, then you are probably going to get yourself into trouble.

Page Updated: May 18, 2017
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