Sarkozy's Cautionary Tale
We still don't know exactly why French President Nicolas Sarkozy fell ill during his jog the other day: Reports say he grew faint, had to lie down and was then taken to the hospital, where he was kept overnight for observation before being released. He's reportedly fine now, with no cardiovascular problems.
But the incident is a good reminder to be careful exercising in hot weather.
The temperature when Sarkozy was jogging was reportedly about 84 degrees Fahrenheit. "That's not what he's actually feeling," said Peeke, noting that running makes the body feel as though the ambient temperature's about 10 degrees higher than it is. "He could have been experiencing early heat stroke," she said.
Running in the heat could have dehydrated Sarkozy, too. "Did he hydrate properly before going running? Did he have a water bottle to drink from?" We don't know. But getting dehydrated "will definitely nail you," Peeke said.
It's also been reported that Sarkozy's been on a strict weight-loss diet and exercise regimen, and that he'd recently lost close to 10 pounds. Peeke says rapid weight loss can deplete the body of the glucose and fat the body needs to fuel activities such as running. An average man burns about 120-150 calories per mile when running, she said. Sarkozy's collapse "could have been partially due to lack of fuel," she suggests.
So if you choose to exercise in the D.C.-area heat and humidity, more power to you. But be careful to stay fueled and hydrated, and know when to quit if you get too hot. Otherwise, you might find yourself pulling a Sarkozy.
Share your own cautionary tales: Have you run into trouble exercising in the heat? Or do you choose to take your workout indoors during the dog days of summer?
Posted by: CPBonWRT | July 29, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse
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