Member Case Study: Post-Workout Body Temperature Fluctuation

author : AMSSM
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I find this is occurring after almost every workout. The pattern is always the same: freezing 10 min after a workout and 2 hours to warm up again. I am not sick. My diet is healthy.

Member question from wyndswept

I have been triathlon and run training for close to a year. My workouts vary from month-to-month but on average I have been doing an hour of training 3 times per week. I am a healthy 31 year old female.

I just moved to a much warmer, drier climate. Previously, I lived in the Northeast where it was between -10 degrees F to 90 degrees F with more days in the 40's. Now I live in the Southwest where the summer will be 110 degrees F and the winter still gets up to 70 degrees F during the day. The climate is drastically drier and the temperature fluctuates 20-30 degrees F between day and night.

I have been very cold after my recent workouts. An example from last week: I went running for an hour and 15 min in 50 deg F weather. It was slightly brisk when I started but very pleasant along the run. I had a great run. I drank water before, during and after the run. When I got home I stretched inside where it was about 65 degrees F. After about 10 minutes my body temperature dropped drastically. (I didn't take my temperature so I guess this is just perceived temperature.) I was absolutely freezing. My husband looked at me as if I were crazy; he was perfectly warm in the house with a similar amount of clothes on. I had to take a warm shower and then put on my heavy duty sweats and a winter hat. It took me about 2 hours to get warm again.

I feel fine and warm before and during workouts. I have about 10 lbs to loose so I have some body fat to keep me warm. I find this is occurring after almost every workout. The pattern is always the same: freezing 10 min after a workout and 2 hours to warm up again. I am not sick. My diet is healthy. I drink a lot of water throughout the day and always drink water on my workouts with the exception of runs less than 50 min.

Should I be concerned? Is this normal? Is this just something I am going to have to deal with? What should I do to warm up? Please shed some light on my post-workout body temperature fluctuations!

Answer:

Thanks for your question on post-workout body temperature fluctuations. Your situation brings to mind two general categories to consider: internal factors and external factors.

 

Internal factors include things like thyroid function, electrolyte levels, blood counts, etc.

 

External factors include things like inadequate hydration, clothing, and poor acclimatization.

 

Since this post-exercise temperature intolerance seems to be a new and persistent symptom for you, I would recommend that you have further evaluation with either your primary care provider or a primary care sports medicine physician to explore these factors in more detail. It is important that you take your temperature when you feel these symptoms and record them.

 

Also record the weather conditions during your training in addition to the amount and type of exercise performed. Bring this information to your appointment. A simple intervention that you may want to try before seeing a health care provider is to increase your fluid intake. Now that you live and train in a drier environment, you may just require more fluid intake to correct these symptoms.

Suzanne Hecht, MD
Clinical Faculty in Sports Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles
Member AMSSM

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date: February 8, 2007

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The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

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The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

FIND A SPORTS MEDICINE DOCTOR

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