Avoiding Heat Stress Injury
Drink adequate fluid 30 – 45 minutes before exercise and then a cupful every 10 – 15 minutes while exercising.
Hydration: Drink adequate fluid 30 – 45 minutes before exercise and then a cupful every 10 – 20 minutes while exercising. After exercise, drink to satisfy thirst. Some research has indicated that thirst mechanism may not be as effective a gauge of water needs for the over 40 or for the young athlete. Drinking fluid, while exercising and after completion will help speed your recovery. Sport replacement drinks may be superior to water at longer distances and times (over 60 – 90 minutes). The electrolytes and carbohydrates in them will also help speed your recovery from the stress of fluid loss and your long distance run. Somehow they do seem to taste great in the heat and the good taste encourages you to drink more and replace your fluids.
- Acclimatization: Gradually build up your tolerance for running in warmer weather.
- Stay Fit and don’t overestimate your level of fitness: Individuals with a higher VO2 Max are more tolerant of heat tolerance than those with a lower level of fitness.
- Watch your health: Make sure you are aware of both medical conditions that you have and medications that can affect your tolerance of exercise in the heat. Medical conditions affecting your heat tolerance include diabetes, high blood pressure, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, obesity and fever.
- Dress Cool: Wear light weight shorts and a singlet rather than a tee shirt, to permit evaporation of perspiration.
- Avoid overhydration for long times of exercise in the heat. In fact, try to avoid training for long times and distances in mid day heat. Read and become familiar with the concept of hyponatremia, particularly before competing in events which will keep you exercising for 3, 4 or more hours.
- A carbohydrate-protein mix at the conclusion of exercise may help your recovery. Lactaid Milk with a Protein supplement and “Chocolate Milk” mix might work quite well.