By: Brian Burkhart Prep Reporter Twitter: @BrianESPN
Staying Cool In The Summer Heat
There are a lot of health and safety concerns when it comes to an athlete running in the hot summer weather, since dehydration or heat stroke could occur. High school baseball is in full swing and soon enough summer workouts for football will be starting. An athlete needs to take special precautions when running in the hot summer weather. Here are some tips for athletes’ to stay safe this summer, in the heat.
Run in the Morning or Evening
Running in the morning or evening is one way an athlete can stay healthy, if he or she is an active runner during the summer. Choosing to run during the middle of the day will put an athlete at risk for heat stroke or dehydration, since this is when the sun is at it’s peak. An athlete should try to run early in the morning or during the early evening, so that they can avoid the hottest hours of the day, which can prevent heart, related illness. If an athlete has to run or has practice during the middle of the day then hydration is key, drinking as much fluids as possible.
Do Not Run Too Hard
During the hot summer weather, an athlete should not try to run too hard; this will put extra strain on the body during hot days. It is important to always scale back any outdoor activities while it is hot outside, so if an athlete normally runs for an hour a day, he or she should only run for 30 minutes during excessive summer heat. An athlete should not try to push themselves to their max during hot weather, because it does not take long for heat illnesses to occur. If an athlete feels exhausted or dehydrated from running in the heat, it is important they stop running and takes at least a 10-minute break.
Wear Light and Loose Clothing
It is very important for an athlete to wear light and loose clothing, if they are running during the hot summer weather. Wearing dri-fit or cool gear clothing will help the body regulate temperature, which can keep the body naturally cool. It is very important that an athlete does not wear dark clothing; dark clothing absorbs heat, and is likely to cause the body temperature to rise to dangerous levels. Wearing loose clothing is also crucial for an athlete dealing with the hot weather, due to the fact that tight clothing can cut off circulation, and also cause skin irritations when the athlete sweats. During summer football works, athletes should wear very light clothes because they also will be wearing pads or other gear, which will raise their body temperature as well. The main way to prevent heat exhaustion is to know your body and be smart when working out in the summer.
Know the Warning Signs of Heat Illness
Any athlete that is running in the extreme heat should know the warning signs of heat illness, so they know when to stop running and seek medical attention. The most common warning signs of heat illness include dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, and clammy skin. These signs will help an athlete determine whether or not the heat has caused health problems. If an athlete notices these symptoms, they should lay down, drink lots of fluid, and seek medical attention if needed.
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