Finely-tuned athletes a hot chance of heat exhaustion

FINELY-TUNED athletes are just as at risk of suffering heat exhaustion as the elderly and the infants if the necessary precautions to the extreme elements aren’t met, according to Charles Sturt University lecturer in human anatomy and physiology doctor Bruce Graham.

Admitting the simple answer to beating the heat was simply to avoid the sun, Dr Graham believes radiant heat and high air temperatures are the main reason those exercising during hot summer days often fall ill.

“It just doesn’t make sense to do it,” Dr Graham said when quizzed on exercising during the heat of the day.

“Spraying water on the skin can help [with body temperature]. It is possible to acclimatise to hot conditions with training but it’s the novices who come out and push themselves too much that put themselves at risk.”

Dr Graham specialises in sports science, exercise and health, human anatomy and physiology, and advised any scheduled training sessions in 35 degree heat be moved to a cooler period of the day.

“You can change when they’re on,” he said.

“It’s when it’s a competition and someone else is setting the agenda when it’s a bit difficult ... hydration becomes a critical issue then.”

“To be honest, anyone wanting to run a distance should be getting up early in the morning to beat the heat. The middle of the day, it’ll kill you"

NSW Health staff warn those experiencing dizziness and tiredness, thirst, are faint, irritable and those with a loss of appetite are experiencing dehydration.

The best way to prevent heat-related illness is to drink plenty of water.

So far this summer in Orange, all sports have been in full swing throughout the city over the course of the recent heatwave.

Touch football, cricket, triathlon and running events haven’t been affected or postponed.

Representative rugby union trials were also conducted in Dubbo in January.

Orange Runners’ Club president Frank Ostini believes the key to beating the heat is keeping well hydrated and getting in early.

“We advise people to drink water before and after they run and keep out of the sun,” Mr Ostini said.

“To be honest, anyone wanting to run a distance should be getting up early in the morning to beat the heat. The middle of the day, it’ll kill you. I’d advise against running between 2 and 4 (pm). It’s the heat is gruelling then.”

The runners club has this year moved its Sunday morning runs from 10am to 9am to avoid the early morning heat while the club’s afternoon runs are only short distance jogs.

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