Hypothermia: Dangers of Running under Extreme Cold Rain

It was Dalai Lama who said ” When you are faced with a question on right and wrong you need to rely on your common sense, conscious and scientific knowledge”

Today morning I had to decide whether to run or not to run. It was raining heavily outside and running under rain looked like a romantic idea but I decided against running under the cold rain because the last time I ran under rain my legs felt tired and my lungs kept panting. I returned back to the house midway the run!

What is Hypothermia?

When the body is exposed to extreme weather condition like cold rain water, the risk of hypothermia goes up.

Hypothermia is the rapid and drastic chilling of the body’s core temperature (normally 98.6 degrees F) during adverse conditions, and begins when the body loses heat faster than it can be replaced.

As the body temperature drops because of exposure to cool air and cold water, things begin to happen in a predictable sequence. As one’s temperature drops, the heart begins to slow, and the victim becomes weak and confused as less oxygen is delivered throughout the body.

When oxygen is not delivered to your leg muscles, the muscles can’t relax and contract efficiently and running becomes difficult.

Protecting yourself from Hypothermia

You can do what I did, be reasonable and cancel your running plan.

Cathereine With Body ProtectionOn my way to work every morning I meet with elite Kenyan runners training under cold rain. They are always dressed in heavy jacket, gloves and a hood over their head and neck. The jacket, glove and hood gear is because, according to sports experts, the greatest heat loss is from the head and neck, The other “hot spots” that lose heat most rapidly are the groin and the sides of the chest.

The historic sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is a dramatic example of hypothermia’s effect. When the great ocean liner started sinking, passengers put on their life jackets and headed for the lifeboats. When rescue ships arrived two hours later, most of the people in the lifeboats were alive, but none of the almost 1,500 people floating in the 32 degree F water (still wearing those life jackets) lived.

Picture: Patrick Cowden/Marathonguide 

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