You’ve heard it once, you’ll hear it a million times, “You should be exercising to torch the competition, but not spontaneously combust.” An athlete who’s too focused on chasing personal records may not be listening to his own body’s internal signals. Did you know that approximately 4,500 men show up each year at emergency rooms with heat-related maladies?
As an individual exercises, your body’s muscles generate metabolic heat that ramps up your core temperature and metabolism. Trouble ensues when you can’t adequately cool down because of other factors. These factors include: intense activity, intense heat, humid weather, sub-optimal hydration, and wearing improper clothing. Once an individual’s core temperature reaches 103 to 105 degrees farenheit, he or she may experience lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, headache, imbalance issues, lack or coordination, or extreme fatigue. If you keep pushing, you might be facing an over-exertion heatstroke, which could be life-threatening. This may be sudden and characterized by symptoms of a fever and collapse.
Before you end up as another emergency room statistic, adopt these easy strategies for keeping yourself cool at all times.
1). Cool Down your Insides – Want to avoid fatigue? Maintain a lower core temperature! This is more fun than you may think. According to a study in “Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine”, athletes who ate ice slushies during exercise, were able to run comfortably for up to 15 minutes longer than those who drank cold water. Need a twist to this? Try this recipe: Blend enough ice to fill an insulated sports bottle and pour any sports drink over it. On long runs, create a workout loop that will allow you to circle back to your bottle at intervals. Be sure to drink ample water separate from this concoction. 1-2 quarts of fluid per hours is ideal.
2.) Switch Up Your Shirt – At some point in your workout, your shirt will become so saturated in fluid, that it will actually trap your body heat instead of helping you vent it. This is sure to happen even if you are wearing the latest and greatest breathable, water-wicking performance fabric that Nike or UnderArmour has developed. Interesting fact: remember, it isn’t the sweat that cools your body; it’s the evaporation of those beads off of your skin. Take home point: Once the garment feels heavy, surely its time to switch shirts. Ultimately, this will enhance the evaporation of sweat, which will improve your heat tolerance, and boost your cooling response.
3.) Chill to the Max – Sometimes, primitive protocols are some of the most effective, yet under-used protocols. If you’re burning up, its time for the full-body cold-water immersion protocol! Fill a kid’s pool with several bags of ice and get on in. Research shows: frigid-temperature waters will lower your core temperature approximately 1 degree every five minutes. Most people don’t plan to fail, but they fail to plan: if you’re planning a trip to a remote area, pack a cooler with ice and water in the back of your car to dunk your arms and legs in. Feeling frosty is better than passing out cold!
There you have it. Of course, at KinetiCream, we’re all about keeping your joints cool, but we really enjoy having you around, so stay safe and keep it all cool!