Health Safety Tips: Exercising in Extreme Heat

The City of St. Louis is reminding residents that people who exercise in extreme heat are more likely to become dehydrated and be at risk for heat-related illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals STOP all activity and get to a cool environment when they feel faint or weak.

running in hot sun imageFor anyone considering exercising outdoors during extreme heat, it is recommended that they:

  • Limit outdoor activity, especially during midday when the sun is the hottest.
  • Wear and reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
  • Schedule workouts and practices early or later in the day when temperatures are cooler.
  • Pace activity. Start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually.
  • Drink more water than usual and do not wait until you are thirsty to drink more. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.
  • Monitor a teammate's condition, and have someone do the same for you.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness.
    • Muscle cramping might be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke.
    • Heat exhaustion signs and symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale, and clammy skin, weak pulse, nausea or vomiting and fainting.
  • Heat stroke signs and symptoms include high body temperature (above 103°F), hot, red, dry or moist skin, rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness.

Learn more about preventing heat related illness for athletes:

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:

Missouri State High School Activities Association:


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