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Tips for Student-Athletes to Beat the Heat During Workouts

Summer’s not over yet, so know how to stay safe in the heat during team workouts

Exercising safely when it's hot

Many student athletes will tell you that preseason workouts for fall sports can be brutal. This year, that hot and humid weather is extending into September.

“It’s important that student-athletes be prepared for their outdoor workouts,” says Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute certified athletic trainer Michael Cerasoli, who provides services at Schuylkill Haven Area High School. “Depending on what they are required to wear and how hard they are working, it doesn’t take much to get overheated.”

Cerasoli has five tips on how student-athletes can make the most of their preseason training, regardless of the temperatures.

  • Dress the part – Unless it’s required to wear a specific uniform, Cerasoli suggests wearing light-colored, loose athletic clothing to practice. Avoid clothing that has moisture wicking qualities.
  • Stay hydrated – Staying hydrated when you are participating in outdoor workouts is a must. Cerasoli recommends athletes drink 16 ounces of water two hours prior to practice and 8 ounces of water 20 minutes before practice begins. Throughout practice, athletes should take water breaks every 15-30 minutes depending on the intensity of their workout and the heat index.
  • Food for thought – Regardless of whether you are hungry or not, you should always eat before practice. Some foods that Cerasoli tells his student-athletes to eat before practice include peanut butter on toast, oatmeal, fruits, trail mix and eggs. He tells his student- athletes to avoid eating greasy foods, milk, fast food and large meals within 60 minutes of practice.
  • Signs to stop your workout – If you begin to feel dizzy, experience extreme fatigue, nausea or have a headache, you should stop your workout immediately and find a cool area. Other symptoms to watch for include, thirst, heat rash and muscle cramps.
  • Cool down – After your workout, Cerasoli says you should cool down by changing into a set of dry clothing, resting in the shade and taking a cool shower after practice.

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