It's SUMMER ! Kids off school, more daylight and vacations usually take the top of the list of why everyone loves this time of year. However, the summer usually brings the heat !! Summer is a great time to get outdoors and "play" or train outside, but it does bring a lot of concern when heat is in the mix.
When training in the heat you need to be concerned about heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Heatstroke is characterized by rapid onset which means it was developing within hours and frequently is associated with high core temperatures.Heat exhaustion occurs when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Many factors can contribute to this, and a person can experience it even if their body temperature is only slightly above normal.
So how can you stay safe in the heat? I am going to give you tips to make staying cool in the sun a breeze !
-Watch the weather report. Everyone knows what a wind chill report is, but did you know the same thing applies to heat and wind just in reverse. Training with little clothing in direct sunlight exposes you to a greater heat index by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, strong gusts of wind can turn hot conditions into a convection oven. The wind multiplies the effects of the heat. The wind and dry air suck moisture off your skin so rapidly you often do not realize how much you are sweating. This can cause you to fail to realize you need to drink more water because you don’t feel sweaty.
If you must train in the heat, here are some great things to remember!
Drink plenty of water.
Train in the shade.
Train outside in the morning.
Use a water spray bottle if the humidity is relatively low. This works really well for those who just don’t seem to sweat much and overheat easily.
Soak your clothing with water in dryer conditions.
Be intelligent and pay attention to heat-index charts. If it’s too dangerous to train outside, then train indoors.
Cover up with loose-fitting clothing, which catches the breeze easier than tight-fitting clothes.
Cover your head with a wet bandana. As the water evaporates, it provides a wonderful cooling effect.
If you want to adapt to this weather, here are some things you can do:
Take it a bit easy in your training for a while as you let your body adapt to the heat. Try doing shorter training sessions. If you train three times per week for an hour each session, try something different if you train outside. Try breaking that down into thirty-minute sessions spread over six days. Thus, you can train outside with less risk of overheating.
Another option is to train 20-30 minutes in the morning when it’s cooler, then hit a 20-30 minute session later in the day. Spread the load out. Remember, not only are you dealing with the heat index, but you are also creating metabolic heat, which adds to the external heat load upon your body.
Train hard but train smart.