It’s that time of year again when the extreme heat can really affect you and your clients’ ability to push them to their limits. Whether it’s boot camp, HIIT, or two-a-days for high school football athletes, we all need to make sure we’re addressing the challenges of heat and humidity when training and recovering from workouts.
Below are a few simple considerations to keep in mind . . .
Staying Hydrated: Why Water Is Important
Water makes up approximately 60%–70% of the human body weight, so we need to hydrate to keep our bodies running smoothly.
We need a minimum level of fluids in our body in order to function.
- Mild dehydration can include a dry mouth, headaches, and dizziness
- More severe symptoms are a rapid heartbeat
- Chronic dehydration can affect a person’s behavior, prompting mood swings and depression
HOW MUCH:(according to the Mayo Clinic)
- Men should take in 3 liters (99 oz.)
- Women 2.2 liters (72.6 oz.) each day
Calculate how much you and your clients need using this formula:
Your Weight x .5 = Required Daily Amount
Example: 140 lb. x .5 = 70 oz.
However, more fluids are required in certain circumstances, for example:
- During exercise
- When situated in hotter and drier climates or at altitude
- When consuming alcohol
- When you lose fluids through vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating during sickness
Taking breaks and replenishing your fluids during these times will help your body regulate your temperature.
One rule of thumb is to drink 16 oz. of fluids for each ounce of weight lost during exercise. Another way to monitor hydration levels is to check the color of your urine with pale yellow indicating proper hydration.
There are many hydration or “exercise” drinkson the market offering an alternative means of hydration that can assist you in going that bit further and are a popular method of hydration for athletes.
- When choosing a sports drink, the most important thing to understand is what’s added extra
- Avoid drinks that have high levels of salts and sugars
- Choose hydration drinksthat include protein when possible. Other beneficial ingredients to look out for are amino acids, antioxidants, B and C vitamins, glucosamine, electrolytes, and minerals
Let your body acclimate to the heat. It’s best not to exercise or do any strenuous activity in extremely hot weather, but if you must, follow the same precautions and rest frequently in a cool spot.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion: What to Look Out For
Heat exhaustion is a condition where symptoms may include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse, a result of your body overheating. It’s one of three heat-related syndromes with heat cramps being the mildest and heatstroke being the most severe.
Causes of Heat Exhaustion
- Exposure to high temperatures
- High humidity
- Strenuous physical activity
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion may develop suddenly or over time, especially with prolonged periods of exercise. Be on the lookout for the following:
- Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
- Heavy sweating
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Low blood pressure upon standing
- Muscle cramps
You can take a number of precautions to prevent heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses. When temperatures climb, remember to:
- Wear loose fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing
- Avoid sunburn
- Seek a cooler place
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take extra precautions with certain medications
- Avoid hot spots
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