Exercising in extreme heat requires planning

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DENVER (KDVR) — Over the weekend, a 52-year-old man died on the Palisade Plunge Trail after suffering from heat-related illness in 102-degree temperatures.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said the man ran out of water while biking on the trail.

Officials say at least 2.5 gallons of water per person and electrolyte replenishments are recommended for bikers on the 32-mile trail in the summer.

After a tragedy like that, doctors are reminding us how important it is to be prepared and hydrated if you choose to exercise in extreme heat.

“Everybody is a little bit different as to how much water you need to drink,” said Dr. Eric Hill, the EMS director at the Medical Center of Aurora.

“Certainly, you want to be drinking enough that you are peeing frequently. You want to have relatively clear urine,” he said.

Heat related illnesses are on a spectrum, Hill said. Cramps and fatigue are somewhat common.

“If your body is cramping up, you definitely need to be drinking more, resting a little bit more,” he said. 

On Monday, the National Weather Service in Boulder tweeted a reminded to hikers about the impact of heat.

A chart from the CDC shows if you have signs of heat exhaustion including dizziness, heavy sweating, nausea or weakness, you should move to a cooler area, loosen clothing and sip cool water. Get medical attention if you don’t feel better.

Signs of heat stroke include confusion, dizziness and a loss of consciousness. Take all the same measures but call 911.

“Heat stroke is absolutely life threatening,” Hill said.

He believes a good work/rest cycle is important.

“Certainly, every hour if you are in 100-degree heat, if you can get 15 minutes of shade in there where you can cool yourself off, and drink, and hydrate, that’s a good practice,” he said.



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