Stay Cool Exercising in the Heat

By Christine Emery

While you’re exercising outside this summer, remember to stay cool!

If you are exercising during a heat wave, it is important to pay attention to some signs and symptoms either you or a personal training client might be experiencing. The following list provides a few examples of symptoms to look out for: “muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, fatigue, headache, excessive sweating, dizziness or lightheadedness, confusion, irritability, low blood pressure, increased heart rate, and visual problems” (1).

If you begin to experience any of these symptoms while exercise outdoors, it is very possible that you are experiencing a heat illness, such as one of the following (based on severity of symptoms from low to high) (1,2):

  • Heat cramps – pain or spasms in your muscles with heavy sweating
  • Fainting – sensation of light headedness and/or syncope that occurs post exercise and may commonly occur with a sudden stop of exercise without a cool down period
  • Heat Exhaustion – an increase in body temperature, but does not get higher than 103⁰, symptoms resemble what was listed above
  • Heatstroke – when the body temperature increases pasts 103⁰ and is a serious medical emergency. In this situation, call 911 right away.

It is important to know, that if you begin to notice any signs or symptoms of a heat illness, be sure to increase your intake of fluid right away and do your best to lower your body temperature (step away to a shady place on the trail, stop exercising, etc.). You can also remove any excess clothing or sports equipment that could be hindering your ability to decrease your body temperature (an over shirt, a helmet, body pads, etc.). In addition, if you have access to it,  place a wet towel or ice pack on your “neck, forehead, and under your arms” (1). Keep in mind, that if your symptoms are not suppressed in about twenty minutes, it is strongly recommended to seek additional medical care. In the case of a heatstroke, it is important to notice emergencies services as soon as possible. (1, 2).

Thankfully, there are easy ways to try to avoid any of the heat illnesses that were mentioned above! While you are exercising outdoors, be sure to stay hydrated, dress appropriately (loose clothing), avoid exercising outside at the hottest time of the day, understand your fitness capacity and if you have any medical conditions that would increase your risk, and, when in doubt, have a backup plan for another way to stay active that avoids being outside in the sun (i.e. going to the gym or taking a fitness class). (1, 2).

With these helpful tools, there’s no need to stop exercising outside this summer! Know the precautions, risks, and successful ways to prevent against any heat illness and you’ll be good to go out and get ‘em!

(1) depth/exercise/art-20048167


About the Author:
A native to the Bay Area, Christine graduated on the dean’s list with a B.S. degree in Health and Human Sciences from Loyola Marymount University in 2013. Soon after, she moved back up north from Los Angeles and joined the BaySport Preventive Medical team. She really appreciates BaySport’s dedication to detail in making every patient’s experience as enjoyable as possible while also educating them on ways to improve their lifestyle. As a current graduate student at San Francisco State University, she is now working on her thesis to determine if there is a trend within the Bay Area for certain ethnicities to have higher lipid profile (cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose) values along with other measurements such as body mass index and blood pressure. During her off-time, Christine is an avid supporter and fan of Bay Area sports and she loves to play golf with her family when she can. She also likes to travel down to Los Angeles frequently to visit friends.

High Intensity Workouts: A no pain, no gain attitude can get you injured.

By Leslie Czarny and Carol Triest, P.T.

High Intensity Interval Training classes like CrossFit, Insanity, and P90X continue to be a favorite amongst exercisers. The draw – a quick intense workout (15-20min) in a fun and challenging setting. Pushing one’s self to extreme limits is an attraction to many who thrive in this type of environment. However, according to Bergeron, Nindl and Deuster, there seems to be a high occurrence of military personnel suffering from muscle strains and joint injuries as a result of participating in these types of workouts.1 If military personnel are getting injured, how about the rest of us?

“There are great benefits to high intensity workouts; however, I see a lot of patients who get injured from overdoing it, particularly those who participate in group classes”, says Daniel Alvarez, a Doctor of Physical Therapy at BaySport. “Poor form is one of the main culprits for injury and it’s harder for the instructor to gauge mechanics when in a large group setting.” He goes on to say, “…muscle weakness and going all out when there is poor postural alignment, history of trauma, overuse or instability of the joint promotes injury as well.” There is also the crowd mentality: Feeling like you have to push yourself because others in the class are increasing the intensity of the workout.

As with any type of fitness training, a good warm-up and cool down is necessary to limit risk of injuries. It is important to gauge how you feel: If you are suffering from soreness and fatigue, your body is telling you that you need a break. It is time to go for a walk, or perform a gentle stretching routine. No Pain, No Pain should replace the No Pain, No Gain slogan. It is a healthier and more sustainable attitude towards fitness.

1. Bergeron MF, Nindl BC, Deuster PA, . Consortium for Health and Military Performance and American College of Sports Medicine consensus paper on extreme conditioning programs in military personnel. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2011;10:383–389. Google Scholar CrossRef, Medline

Are you Drinking Enough Water?

By Thad Phillips

With the summer heat upon us we need to pay closer attention to keeping our bodies hydrated. We all know the importance of water but 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Below are some signs that you could be dehydrated.

Are you feeling hungry?    

In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger and even mild dehydration will slow down a metabolism as much as 3%. On a side note, one glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

Are you feeling tired?

Lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue.

Are you feeling achy?

Research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day can significantly ease back and joint pain for 80% of suffers.

Are you having a hard time concentrating?

A mere 2% drop in hydration can trigger fuzzy short-term memory and difficulty in focusing.

Are you feeling weak when you exercise?

At 5% dehydration your strength and endurance decreases significantly.

How much water do we really need?

Women need approximately 91 ounces (3/4 gal) of water daily and men, 125 ounces (1 gal), according to the Institute of Medicine. In addition to drinking water regularly throughout the day, drink about 20 ounces of water leading up to your workout. Then for every 20 minutes you exercise, take in 7 to 10 ounces of fluid.

Ericson, J. (2013, July 3). Medical daily 75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, According to Doctors. Retrieved from
The Water Express (2017, January 3). Water Facts. Retrieved from
Cespedes, A. (2016, March 13). Does dehydration slow metabolism Retrieved from
Stay Healthy (2014, February 11). Why Hydration is important. Retrieved from (2008). Human need for water. Retrieved from

About the Author:
Thad Phillips is the BaySport Program Director for Apollo Group in Phoenix AZ. For the past 14 years he has served as the Fitness Director at Apollo Group, managing all aspects of the corporate gym, including creating and overseeing incentive programs, writing and monitoring nutritional programs, and conducting individual personal training. Previous experience includes owning a successful personal training studio, as well as working as a Fitness Director for LA Fitness.

Thad’s credentials include ISSA Level II certifications, and his expertise includes fitness, nutritional counseling and training. Thad has provided nutritional counseling and competition diets for bodybuilding, fitness and figure athletes and has also participated in natural bodybuilding competitions over the last 20 years. In 2008 he placed 1st in Class and 1st Overall in the Best of the West competition, which earned him his professional status as a natural bodybuilder. In 2015 he won his class in the highly competitive Mr. Arizona.

Throughout his life, Thad’s dedication and passion has been to help his clients establish fitness goals and to provide them with the knowledge and motivation to achieve those goals and change their lifestyle.