- Posted by Kellie Cheatham
- On June 15, 2017
- 0 Comments
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘injury’? Most of us immediately think of a physical injury, maybe a strained back or a concussion from a dropped barbell. As athletes, we are always trying to prevent these types of injuries, yet sometimes we forget that the environment, especially heat and humidity, can also cause injuries.
There are many types of heat injuries ranging from mild to severe, and at its worst, fatal. These include injuries such as heat cramps, heat syncope, heat exhaustion (from water and/or salt depletion), and heat stroke. All of these are threats during the hot and humid summer months. As we exercise in warm conditions, we must take proper precautions.
When we workout, our bodies cool by sweating. As we perspire, we lose necessary body fluids. If we don’t replace these fluids, we become dehydrated. Simultaneously, in conditions of high heat and humidity, the natural evaporation of the sweat is slowed down, and so our body’s natural cooling system does not work, and the coating of sweat on the body raises our core temperature, causing us to be vulnerable to heat related injury.
In addition to our bodies inability to cool off in these conditions, the use of diuretics and stimulants increases your risk of heat injury. Diuretics and stimulants both increase your core temperature and hinder the body’s ability to regulate its temperature after it spikes. Exercise extreme caution when using these medications and supplements in combination with heat and exercise.
Some factors that can increase the risk of these injuries are:
- Heat temperature and humidity
- Sun exposure
- Pre workout hydration status
- Medications such as diuretics and stimulants
This is what we recommend for prevention of these types of injuries:
- Hydrate before, during, and after exercise. Replace fluids and electrolytes whether you feel thirsty or not.
- Drink 24oz of NON-CAFFEINATED fluid 2 hours before WODing. Drink an additional 8oz of fluid with electrolytes right before working out. Break for an 8oz cup of water every 20 minutes.
- Monitor the color of your urine. Darker urine means you are less hydrated and at risk.
- Weigh yourself before and after exercise. Replace the fluids you lost before your next exercise session.
- Wear lightweight and light colored clothing.
- Watch your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a diuretic so if you have some drinks, make sure the alcohol is out of your system and that you are completely rehydrated before working out.
Here at Crossfit Aggieland, the health of our athletes is our first and most important priority. As coaches, we will be vigilant in putting your safety first, but we need your help! Do not let the threat of heat injury deter you from working out with us. Rather, make yourself aware and listen to your body so that you can take the necessary steps to ensure your safety during these hot summer months.