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Exercising in the Heat

Exercising in hot weather can be fun but also dangerous. Exercising in the heat puts an added stress on your body. If you’re not careful you run the risk of a heat-related illness.
The body has a self-regulating mechanism which attempts to cool your body when you are overheated. The body sends more blood from your muscles and to your skin or periphery. This alternate flow of blood results in an increased heart rate and an elevated body temperature. Under normal conditions, perspiration will adjust for body temperature. When one does not drink enough fluid or is unable to control the body temperature then a heat-related illness may occur.

Heat-related illness includes:

  • Heat cramps
  • Syncope and collapse
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heatstroke

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Visual changes
  • Muscle cramps

Should you develop any of these symptoms:

  • Stop exercising immediately
  • Get out of the heat
  • Remove extra clothing
  • Cool your body
  • Drink cool fluids

*If symptoms are not better within 30 minutes, seek immediate medical attention

To learn more about Dr. Cotler or to schedule an appointment, please call us on (713) 523-8884 or visit

Howard B. Cotler, MD, FACS, FAAOS is board certified and recertified in Orthopedic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.

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