Skating in the Heat
Too hot to skate?
That's possible. But by showing some respect for the heat, you can keep rolling through just about anything that global warming has to throw at you.
Here are some things to remember:
Get Fit First
If you are just beginning an exercise program, don't take on the heat until you are reasonably fit. Heat puts an extra load on the body, and if you're not ready for it, it could make you sick.
Most people who develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke are out of their element; they are exercising in conditions that are hotter or more humid than they are accustomed to or they are exercising more vigorously than usual on a hot day.
Avoid their mistakes. In hot weather, start with short (half hour) and easy workouts and slowly acclimate yourself for longer skates.
"The body needs up to 14 days of progressive activity in the heat to undergo the physiological changes that allow for safe and sufficient acclimatization (the first three to five days are the most critical)," says the American College of Sports Medicine.
Drink Before, During and After
Drink a healthy amount of water throughout the day. (Three or four liters a day is recommended for adults.) Drink more fluids (water or sports drinks) while you skate. (One to four cups of water is recommended for every hour of exercise under normal conditions. On hot days, you need more.) And drink some more when you're done.
Optimally, you should drink the same amount of fluids as you lost through sweating. To figure out how much that is, you can weigh yourself before and after each skate and subtract the weight of anything you ate or drank.
If that's not gonna happen, just remember to drink plenty of fluids.
Too Much Of a Good Thing?
Is it possible to drink too much water? In fact, it is. If you go overboard, you can develop hyponatremia, a potentially lethal salt deficiency.
But the risk of drinking too much water is relatively small compared to dehydration and is only an issue, health experts say, when physical exertion lasts four hours or more, such as in running marathon or triathlons.
But I'm Not Thirsty
Don't rely on thirst to clue you in on how much water to drink. Thirst, especially in older athletes, is notoriously unreliable. Competitive athletes tend to ignore bodily urges while in the heat of a race or workout.