Athletes deal with triple-digit temperatures - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Athletes deal with triple-digit temperatures

On a day when the thermometer reached 100 degrees, Rhodes quarterback Mark Oliver and a friend ran sprints for an upcoming practice drill.

"Some people might be concerned about being out here in the heat," he said. "It's not impossible. You can do it."

However doctors at Methodist University Hospital say when temperatures soar like they have in recent days, athletes need to be very careful.

"When you are out there running and playing exerting a lot of activities you are burning up calories; producing a lot of heat in the body," said Dr. Ray Walter at Methodist University Hospital. "If you can't get rid of it as fast as you produce it, you are going to have a problem."

Doctors say just getting out of your air conditioned car and standing outside for a few minutes can raise your body temperature.  Walter said problems result when athletes and others stay out in the hot sun too long.

"So even young people who have normal mechanisms for heat exchange are at risk for heat exposure or illness."

Oliver said he protects his body by drinking plenty of liquids.  Coaches help keep athletes safe by offering frequent rest and water breaks, and holding practices indoors when possible.

Doctors say your first clues to a heat problem may be cramping and dizziness.  Your normal body temperature should be 98.6 degrees.  In the hot sun, in the middle of the day, your temperature has the potential of rising to 104 to 106 degrees.  If that happens you are running a risk of severe heat problems.

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