How to deal with the extreme heatHelmetFellas
Heat exhaustion is a condition whose symptoms may include a fast heartbeat and heavy perspiration, a consequence of your body overheating. It is one of three heat- heatstroke and associated syndromes, with heat cramps being the lightest being the most serious.
Reasons for heat exhaustion strenuous physical activity, and include exposure to high temperatures, especially when combined with high humidity. Without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can cause heat stroke, a life-threatening illness. Luckily, heat exhaustion is preventable.
Start by wearing loosefitting, lightweight, light colored clothes. Extra, dark or tight clothes does not let your body cool correctly because it inhibits perspiration evaporation and holds in heat.
Prevent sunburn. If you are going to be outside, wear a lightweight, broad-brimmed hat or use an umbrella to shield yourself from sunlight, and apply sunblock to any uncovered skin. Having a sunburn reduces your body’s ability to keep itself cool.
Tips to fight heat-related injuries
The secret to preventing heat harm is groundwork. Most commonly, heat injuries happen when someone is unprepared for the heat and attempts to “rough it out.” To ensure you’re not “that guy/girl,” here are a couple of suggestions to make certain you are prepared to confront the heat:
Camelbak’s slogan holds true – water is vital to life, and in the heat, particularly in sports where you sweat intensely (like riding) it’s certainly critical to remaining hydrated and preventing heat harm. Bring more than you believe you want and drink more. Using a hydration pack is crucial while riding because it lets you hydrate without stopping your ride and prevents you from “shoving a little further.”
One of the first signs of heat exhaustion is fatigue, which occurs as your body overworks itself sweating to keep you cool. A common remedy is to “energize” with caffeinated energy drinks; however, these can make the effects you’re feeling even worse since caffeine is a diuretic, and actually pulls more water out of your body! There is so substitute for pure water in the heat (though a sports drink with electrolytes can be added to your water as well).
Long rides are exhausting and rest stops are essential, but you should include more of these than normal on especially hot trips – this will allow your body to recover, your temperature to equalize, and give you some time to hydrate before the next leg of a trip. Find a shady spot to stop at least, but an air conditioned spot is even better!
Head to toe gear prevents harm from a crash, but did you understand it also prevents heat harm? It is because naked skin burns, but in addition, it loses perspiration quicker due to the effects of convection, which draws on energy and more water from the body at a more rapid speed. It seems counterintuitive, and goes against the tendency to strip off all your gear, but you are better off remaining covered from head to toe in net or moisture wicking material while riding in extreme heat.
Today, technology has given us some wonderful tools to fight off the heat, like cooling vests, collars, and wristbands, which consume water into unique moisture-keeping material and help keep your body cool for hours.
Dehydration is not the only method you can damage – intense sunlight, which can cause sunburn in as little minutes in extreme states generally accompanies extreme heat! Use a sunblock with an SPF of 30 or greater on open skin every time you ride in sunlight to prevent sunburns and long-term effects of sunlight, like skin cancer and accelerated aging.
At the Baja 500
The Baja 500, a grueling 500-mile off road race that happens each June in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, only took place this past weekend, as vehicles from 125cc bikes to 900HP prize trucks raced across the areas dry desert for time. The race is a celebrated event in the offroad community, as it examines the endurance of riders and vehicles with a path that covers hundreds of miles of widely varying and challenging terrain.
The tempature on the path generally runs in excess of 100 degress, and when adding in the effects of convection and the heat from engines, powerful temperature for riders can hover at a race speed – for long periods of time, at closer to 120.
But surrounding temperatures were recorded at a scorching 115 degrees – a degree of heat so extreme, it’s caused expert challengers call this years race the most barbarous of all time.
One of this year’s Baja 500 victor, Colton Udall, said the race of this year was the hottest ecosystem he’d raced in.
Heat exhaustion, dehydration, and even heat stroke are quite common in extreme heat, and the tiredness that results can place you at increased risk of an injury. The moral of the story here – you can harm, and may also kill you, if you are outside riding and not prepared for the challenges of extreme heat you might fall upon.