Beware of Hot Temperatures Impacts on Health

12 July 2022

Sport is one of activities that you can do to improve your health and fitness status.

Sport is one of activities that you can do to improve your health and fitness status. Although generally has good effect, exercise can also have other effects that you need pay attention to as to not to cause conditions that endanger your body, such as an acute increase in body temperature. Why is it important to be aware of that?

The body has a temperature regulation system consisting of receptors in the skin, integrators in the hypothalamus, and effector systems that regulate heat production. When you exercise, your body heat production will increase. This is due to the energy metabolism process that produces more heat and sweat. Hot weather can also increase body temperature.

A sharp increase in body temperature will make the body work harder to maintain a balanced state (homeostasis). Increased body temperature during exercise can cause several “health illnesses”, such as heat cramps, heat syncope, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. These illnesses have the potential be fatal if not promptly treated.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are an illness caused by an increase in body heat. This condition is the initial stage of a series of heat-related illnesses. Individuals who experience heat cramps will feel severe muscle spasms due to excessive sweating. It generally occurs in individuals who are dehydrated. Even though it is not a serious health problem, heat cramps that are not treated immediately can trigger other diseases such as heart problems.

Heat Syncope

This is a series of heat illness after heat cramps. This condition occurs when a person is forced to stay in a hot environment, thereby triggering a lack of blood flow to the brain. As a result, symptoms will appear, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting.

Heat exhaustion

This is a series of heat illnesses that occur due to long exposure to heat. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness, thirst, increased body temperature, excessive sweating, reduced urine production, increased heart rate, and difficulty in moving limbs. Heat exhaustion that is not treated immediately can develop into heat stroke.

Heat Stroke

This is the most acute/severe phase of heat illness. Heat stroke occurs due to hyponatremia. It potentially occurs when someone exercises with high intensity for a long time at a relatively high temperature until the body temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius. Individuals who experience heat stroke are at risk for organ malfunction and even death.

Dehydration and exercising in a hot environment can increase your risk of developing heat illnesses. Ensure you fulfill your fluid needs to prevent dehydration. Don't forget to cool down during exercise and use products containing menthol as a way to help cool your body temperature so you can prevent sports injuries from hot environment.


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