Marathon Runners in Orange Beach AL

How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion

Long hours in the hot sun, combined with strenuous athletic activity, dramatically increases the risk of heat exhaustion for outdoor athletes.

This is a risk that no one is immune to, no matter what your age. It’s tempting to ignore the symptoms, but there are many dangers in having that mentality towards heat exhaustion. We encourage outdoor athletes of all ages to be educated about the symptoms of heat exhaustion and to take it seriously. It’s important to be proactive in the fight against heat exhaustion by taking these preventative measures.

Hydration during sporting practice

1. Be timely with your training schedules. Although it may not always be an option, we advise athletes to avoid training during the peak sunlight hours of the day. If possible, intense conditioning should be performed during the early morning and evening hours. On very hot days, training should be limited all together.

2. Fluids are your friend. Although use of fluids may seem like common knowledge, many athletes abandon the discipline of hydration before long practices in the sun. Not only should fluids be consumed during the outdoor exercises, but also prior to attending practices and games. It is crucial that athletes hydrate even when not thirsty. Water should be the top choice, and everyone needs to be cautious of consuming too many high-sugar beverages.

Girls play softball in Gulf Shores AL

3. Acclimatize to the heat. Rather than jumping immediately into intense outdoor training, individuals should allow their body to gradually adapt to the heat. That could mean starting with a week of mildly intensive workouts in the heat so that one may gradually become accustomed to the temperatures.

4. Make smart clothing choices. Avoid wearing tight or heavy garments while exercising. Loose-fitting clothing allows for sweat to evaporate, lowering the chance of heat exhaustion. Invest in clothes made from athletic fiber. These fibers have tiny channels that wick the moisture from your skin to the outer layer of the clothing where it can evaporate more easily.

Using these preventative measures, it’s likely that your chances of experiencing heat exhaustion will deplete dramatically and allow you to focus on reaching your athletic goals with no distractions!

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