It’s time for another Austin-area sports medicine 101 class!
Since it’s summer in Austin, we’ve been talking a lot about the basics involving heat cramps. Last blog we discussed how to treat (LINK) them, but wouldn’t it be preferable (and easier!) if you were able to avoid them altogether?
- Consider working out indoors, if the option is available. If not, allow your body a certain measure of time (usually a week) to become accustomed to the heat. Slowly introduce your body to the exercise and heat levels, allowing it to become accustomed to the intensity.
- Drink lots of water before the activity. Compensate for lost levels of electrolytes during the activity by drinking a sports drink.
- If possible participate in your activity during the earlier morning or evening hours. Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest periods of the day.
- Avoid wearing dark, binding clothes. Instead, choose light colors and loose-fitting clothes for better sweat evaporation.
- Wearing sunscreen is always a smart idea, but avoiding a sunburn also helps the body keep itself cooler.
- Wear a hat that gives your face some shade.
- If your body starts to discernibly weaken, take a break in a cool, shaded area.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages before the activity as they bump up the rate of dehydration.