Well, the hot weather has arrived and it’s time to start implementing your keep-cool strategies. If you don’t have any, don’t even fret. You are welcome to use some of ours.
Project UNITED’s Keep-cool strategies
Getting heat stroke or even just getting uncomfortably hot is certainly not enjoyable. Heat stroke in particular can be a huge concern if symptoms aren’t addressed in a timely manner. Headaches, exhaustion, fatigue spanning days, and potential death are all symptoms of heat and sun stroke. Having a couple of the strategies below at your disposal can help keep you comfortable and cool during the hot season, particularly after exercise. We won’t mention “drink plenty of cool water and replace electrolytes” because that’s not so much of a strategy as it is (or should be) a daily habit.
- Covering up: If you are in the sun, try to cover your head and skin with a hat and light clothing. If you are working out, a long sleeve shirt and lawn-mowing pants probably aren’t an option, but a hat can certainly be worn with little inconvenience. Preventing the sun from hammering directly on top of your wonderful looking head will help reduce its impact.
- Regulate your eating: When we eat, our body uses energy to break down what we have fed it. If we eat large and irregularly, the body works like mad to sort it out, then has a rest for a few hours. Eating more frequently and in smaller portions keeps the bodies systems in a sensible gear rather than red-lining in bursts.
- Ice baths: We wrote an article here on ice baths and how they are no where near as effective in recovery as was first thought. However, there are two areas where they are effective – cooling the body down, and generally allowing us to feel better. A cool shower will work too, but less water is used in a static bath, so consider the bath over a shower.
- Cool foot bath: If the full body ice bath is not your go, consider the foot bath. Grab a bucket (or deep baking tray), fill it with cold water from a tap, throw in a little ice (not too much or it will burn) and dunk the feet for a few minutes. It will change your life.
- Hydrate before you exercise: If you have big sessions coming up, hydrate in advance – plenty of fluids, minimise diuretics, and get plenty of rest.
- If you can possibly avoid it… caffeine and alcohol can foster dehydration. If you have a big program coming up or a particularly taxing day in the heat, consider (we’re just saying “think about it”) dropping the habits until it’s safe to load up. Working out with a hangover is just madness and will achieve nothing but bad smells.
- And finally, freeze everything: We don’t mean food. Sheets, t-shirts, socks, tea-towels, regular towels, etc. Moisten them, freeze them, and then when you finish your routine, wrap yourself in them. They may only stay cool for a minute or two, but it will be well worth it.
As we mentioned above, heat and sun stroke are bastards. They can wipe you out without you even knowing they are coming. Get in front and give yourself the best chance of keeping comfortable this hot season.