It’s time for another Austin 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 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.