Butcher's Dog! Regular
outdoor fitness tips from the canine on creatine. Cold wet
nose and glossy coat guaranteed.
Heat Stroke and Heat
Generally the problem with the UK is that
it's cold and wet, but venture abroad or encounter a heat
wave and you meet a whole new set of health hazards. The two
main tips for avoiding the effects of heat are, surprise,
surprise, to try and avoid very hot conditions and, if you
can't, then at least avoid the hottest period in the middle
of the day - think 'mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the
mid-day sun' and you'll not be far wrong.
Stay hydrated - see my previous articles
linked to below - and cover the head to aid cooling.
Wide-brimmed hats or kepi-styled ones with a neck cover work
well. Wear light coloured, loose, lightweight
Heat Exhaustion -
Heat exhaustion is the condition which
often leads on to its more serious relation, heat stroke.
Symptoms are headache with dizziness and nausea. Cramps in
the limbs or stomach areas. Lots of sweating with a pale and
clammy skin and shallow, rapid breathing.
If you're with someone who seems to be
suffering from heat exhaustion, get them into the shade away
from direct sunlight. Sponge them down with lukewarm water -
don't use cold water by the way as this can stimulate
shivering and raise the temperature instead. Feed them
rehydration solution, or failing that, water, and allow the
victim to rest until apparently fully recovered then watch
them closely for signs of deterioration.
Heat stroke can be fatal, so don't
underestimate it. It often leads on from heat exhuastion and
when it happens, the body's internal thermostat goes
horribly wrong, so you no longer lose heat as you should.
Unconsciousness and death can follow rapidly.
Main symptoms are headache, dizziness and
confusion with hot, flushed dry skin - because the sweating
mechanism is no longer functioning - rapid pulse and a body
temperature of over 40-degrees C.
Heat stroke is very serious and you should get medical attention as soon as
possible. You need to cool the victim as fast as possible,
but avoid using ice or very cold water as the shock could
kill them. Instead get them out of the sun into a cool, shady
place and wrap them in a wet sheet which you should keep
damp until the temperature falls back to normal levels,
Acclimatisation To Heat
You're more at risk soon after arrival in
a hot area or during the onset of a heatwave because the
body actually adjusts to hot conditions over a period of
days while exercising in hot conditions. Unfortunately it
takes around ten days to get really well adapted, which
means most walking holidays will be over by the time you're
With acclimatisation your sweating -
main cooling - system becomes more effective, the body
adjusts to retain more vital minerals and salts even though
you're sweating more and you run at a cooler temperature.
All this depends on keeping fluid intake high.
Take it easy...
Because the mechanism takes time to kick
in, take it easy when you first arrive in hot conditions and
save the epic marathon stuff for later in the
The Canny Canine...