During the dog days of summer life is slow, sweet and oh so hot. Yes, the temperature rises and with the heat so too does the risk of overheating or hyperthermia.

How to prevent from becoming too hot? First and foremost: be aware of your environment and what you’re doing. Running a 10k in 100 degree weather on streets without shade is probably not a great idea. Starting your run before 10 am or after 6 pm might be a better way of avoiding trouble.

Drink before you start to exercise and during exercise as well. Just like your car, you work better when all your “hoses” have enough fluid. Water works great, except if you plan on a major long workout. In that case rehydration formulas such as Gatorade should be used as well. This is to prevent diluting out of some of your electrolytes by sweat (mainly potassium and sodium).

Start your exercise slowly and be willing to stop when you body tells you that you’re too hot. Don’t chow down on that double bacon cheeseburger right before you start working out. Digesting that mound of fat requires a lot of energy. This reduces blood flow to your muscles and heart and also can increase your core temperature. Try a few nuts instead.

Hyperthermia often starts with feeling hot and tired and then progresses to increasing weakness. If your body temperature continues to rise and you don’t take action you can suffer confusion, seizures, organ failure and even death. Not worth it in my mind for completing that mountain bike ride.

Oh and by the way alcohol actually dehydrates that’s right it causes more fluid loss. It also makes you less aware of the heat and everything else. So hold off on the beers until you done and aren’t feeling hot.

You should ideally drink enough water so that you don’t feel thirsty at all. ¬†Find shade or even better some cool body of water and jump in!