Training Safe During the Summer

Training Safe During the Summer

 

Summer is in full swing and some considerations can be taken to be safe when training. One of the risks when training in warmer temperatures is exertional heat exhaustion or stroke. “It is defined as the inability to continue exercise in the heat due to cardiovascular insufficiency (not enough blood pumped to the heart) and energy depletion that may or may not be associated with physical collapse.”1

Off-season training can give you the edge when preparing for the upcoming season. If you do decide to take your training outdoors, there are a few tips to make sure you stay safe.

 

Summer Training Tips

 

  • Hydrate!! – This is probably one of the most important tips when training outdoors in any climate, especially during the summer. You should hydrate with water and possibly a sports drink before, during, and after the training session. Your body requires sufficient replenishment of fluids as the body sweats to keep body temps down.
  • Build up to training outside – Training outdoors, just like training at higher altitudes, requires your body to acclimate to it’s environment. When training in hotter temps, it is suggested to start off slow. This can be shorter sessions or a decrease in training intensity. You can slowly build up to your normal training however, understand that the temperatures can impact this. 
  • Rest breaks – It is important to take plenty of rest breaks when training, I would recommend to take a break every 15-20min depending on intensity of exercises. When acclimating to the hotter temperatures, more frequent rest breaks may be needed. Also, finding a shaded area to take your rest break can help control body temperature better.

 

What to look out for

If heat exhaustion or stroke do arise when training, it is important to understand the symptoms and treatment. The symptoms and signs are often nonspecific and include

  • Heat Exhaustion
    • Faint or dizzy
    • Excessive sweating
    • Cool, clammy skin
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Rapid and weak pulse
    • Muscle cramps
  • Heat Stroke
    • Headache
    • No sweating
    • Increased body temp (above 103 deg)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Rapid and strong pulse
    • Loss of consciousness

If any of these signs or symptoms are present quick action is needed. Heat exhaustion requires rest, hydration, and get in shade or indoors to cool body. Heat stroke is more serious of the two and emergency care is needed. Hopefully, by using these tips, you can avoid any harmful effects from training in the heat. Happy Training!

 

Written by: Dr. Robert Rojas PT, DPT

 

References
1. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2007/03000/Exertional_Heat_Illness_during_Training_and.20.aspx