Archive for “Sweat” Tag

Beat the Heat To Keep Fit


exercising in the heat for young athletes tips

Exercising In The Heat Can Be Beneficial


By Phil Hueston


Ok. So it’s hot. Really hot. But you still want to get your exercise in. Is it safe? You’re asking “How do I know when to go out and play in the summer sun (and heat)? How do I know when I should stay inside and exercise in the AC? Or should I bag it all and just hit the pool?”


There are risks and benefits to exercising in the heat. More risks than benefits, I’m afraid, but we’ll talk about both.


First, the benefits.


Benefit #1 – No snow. Ok, just kidding. The first benefit of exercising is in heat that you will definitely break a sweat. This is really only a benefit if you intend to sweat, of course! Sweating is good for the body in several ways. 1.) It is a very efficient way to remove toxins from the body. Sweating helps clean the toxins out of your body, helping to somewhat lighten the load on the kidneys, liver and other “clean-up” organs. 2.) Sweating is said to be moderately beneficial to cardiovascular health. When we begin to sweat, our heart and lungs work a bit harder to take in and distribute the oxygen needed to cool blood and keep organs and other body components cool. This contributes to improved cardiovascular strength and efficiency. 3.) Sweating can make you more beautiful (or handsome.) Sort of. See #1 – sweating clears toxins. The pores of the skin are often clogged with toxins, so when you sweat, you clear them out and let them “breathe.”


Benefit #2 – Improved stress levels and management. Exercise helps manage stress under just about any circumstances (except, of course, gladiator competitions and being chased by a tiger – very stressful.) Benefit #1 may contribute to the increased stress management when exercising in the heat. Sweating more is said to trigger endorphin release sooner during and after exercise. No conclusive proof of higher endorphins in the heat yet, but there IS something to be said for how great you feel after a good sweat and challenging exercising in the heat.


Benefit #3 – Muscles tend to warm up faster. It just makes sense – higher temperatures lead to more blood flow faster. Since that’s a large component of how muscles warm up, heat helps.


Benefit #4 – Enhanced fat loss. While the majority of weight lost through sweating is water weight, heat helps in fat loss, too. Higher temperatures help heat the body. This makes fat more “fluid,” for lack of a better term. Essentially, it becomes more easily transported in the blood, making it available for use as a fuel.


Benefit #5 – This benefit is a bit more specific in nature. Apparently, training in high temperatures can improve athletic performance at lower temperatures. According to a University of Oregon study, the results of which were published in the October 2010 issue of The Journal of Applied Physiology¸


“Heat acclimation improves the body’s ability to control body temperature, improves sweating and increases blood flow through the skin, and expands blood volume allowing the heart to pump to more blood to muscles, organs and the skin as needed.” – Science Daily, October 25, 2010.


The study was conducted on cyclists and found that their performance improved by 7 percent after only 10 heat acclimation exposures. Doesn’t sound like much until you think about what a 7% reduction would mean for Lance Armstrong’s fastest Tour de France time. In 2002, Armstrong finished in 82 hours, 5 minutes. A 7% improvement in that time would make it 76 hours, 21 minutes. 7% indeed.


So heat offers some unique benefits relative to exercise and the results you can expect. However, there are risks. So before you go hopping on the bike or grabbing your barbells, let’s make sure you know what they are.


Risk #1 – Increased Cardiovascular load. In the heat, your body tissues increase in temperature, often beyond the normal range for average temperature exercise. In response, blood is sent to the skin to cool the body. Add to this the fact that sweat doesn’t readily evaporate (how we cool off) and the job is tougher. This leaves less blood available to travel to muscles. That makes the heart work harder, stressing it.


Risk #2 – Heat Cramps. Less blood to muscles means higher risk of cramping. Heat cramps are painful muscle contractions, most often occurring in the calves, quadriceps and abdominal muscles. While the skin and body temperature may feel normal, the muscles themselves may be firm to the touch or even somewhat swollen.


Risk #3 – Heat Exhaustion. In this dangerous situation, your body temperature may rise to 104 degrees. It may be accompanied by nausea, headache, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, fainting, and cold, clammy skin. If no action is taken to alleviate it, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke.


Risk #4 – Heatstroke. Your body temperature reaches more than 104 degrees. This is a life-threatening situation and must be addressed immediately. Without immediate attention you risk organ failure, brain damage or even death. While the skin may be hot, your body may stop sweating, preventing cooling from happening. Confusion and irritability may ensue. Seek medical help NOW!


Beware the warning signs. Know the warning signs of heat-related illness or conditions. Muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness and confusion are all signs that it is time to stop, cool down and re-assess the exercise session based on the risks.


How to get the benefits without needless risks. You can enjoy the benefits of hot temperature exercise while minimizing the risks.


Remember these guidelines for exercising in the heat:


1. Know the temperature – Be aware of weather forecasts and temperature expectations. Generally, temps or heat indices over 100 are signs that you should take extra caution when exercising. Reduce the intensity of your session or use a shorter duration during these situations.


2. Get adjusted and acclimated – Increase the intensity of your exercise over time, say 1 to 3 weeks. If you’ve been working out indoors or in climate controlled areas, start with a few short (20-30 minute) session in the higher temperatures and work up from there.


3. Know your limits – High heat is not the time to “jump back in” at full effort if you’ve been slacking off or exercising at low to moderate intensity. Also, stick with what you know while adjusting to the heat. Familiar exercise types allow you to recognize your limits – which will be tested in warm temperatures faster than in moderate ones.


4. Hit the fluids – HARD – Drink more fluids than you think you need. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. By then it’s too late – dehydration is beginning. For sessions longer than an hour, sports drinks may be a better choice because of the sodium, chloride and potassium they can replace. Choose drinks with lower sugar contents. Avoid alcoholic beverages during hot weather activity.


5. Avoid the mid-day sun – Morning or evening are best. Even better – a brisk swim.


6. Dress right – You may think your solar sweatshirt and the hot weather are a great way to drop a few pounds, but it’s really a recipe for heat related illness, even heart attacks and strokes. Light, loose fitting clothes in light colors are best. Think about a hat – especially those of you (me too) who are bald, shave our heads or have thinning hair.


7. Have an alternate plan – Go climb or run some stairs in an air-conditioned building. Exercise indoors in the air-conditioning. It’s okay, the weather will cool off and you’ll be outside again soon.


8. Know your risks – Be aware of any medical conditions that might be made worse through heat exposure. If you aren’t sure, speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise program in hot weather.


9. Sunscreen, baby – Because sunburned skin doesn’t cool off as well as healthy skin.


So the temperature has climbed into the high whatevers. Don’t let that stop you from “getting after it.” Just get smart about it and you’ll be able to benefit from exercising in the heat and your hot weather workouts while avoiding the potential dangers.



Overtraining Young Athletes – Part 1



Young Athletes

I have long supported the notion that the zeal many Trainers and Coaches show with respect to conducting high intensity training sessions with young athletes is akin to the unsure actor who feels a need to "over-do" his or her role in a given appearance for fear that the audience may disapprove of his acting ability.


Almost like a "they paid for it and now I must deliver it" mind set.

As a Coach, you sometimes feel as though you must have your athletes walk away from a training session dripping with sweat and barely able to open their car doors. After all, if they don’t feel as though you are ‘training them hard enough’, they may opt to go and seek the services of a different Coach.


The problem is that overtraining syndromes are not hard to develop with adolescent athletes and must be recognized as an issue with respect to programming.


For ease of explanation sake, let’s just say that if your athlete walks into your training center at what would constitute a normal biological level, and if your training stimulus was at an intensity that would enable the athlete to dip below this normal biological level, but not be too much so as to not be able to ascend into a level of super-compensation, then, well… that would be good.


But there are energies in the world that effect an athletes recoverability from a training session (you know… recovery… that’s the part of the training routine during which your athlete’s body actually makes improvements and gains).


For example:


– Nutrition
– Emotional Stress
– Sleep


Let’s examine those individually for a second.



Training Young Athletes: The Biggest Mistake You’re Making




Training Young Athletes Successfully

I’ll be blunt, brief and to the point with this email.


You’re making a big mistake when training young athletes.


And it’s the same mistake virtually every single Coach and Trainer makes.


It’s got nothing to do with speed, agility, flexibility or strength.


It has nothing to do with sets, reps or program design.


It’s got to do with assessment and training session length.


And I don’t mean the kind of assessment where you take your young
athletes through a specific battery of tests in order to discover any
dysfunctions or asymmetries.


I mean the kind of assessment in which you actually pay attention to
how they feel on a certain day.


That’s your mistake.


You don’t alter your training program on a given day even though on
most days it’s 100% necessary to do so.


We think that the quality of a training session is measured in sweat and


Lots of sweat and tons of hard work = good.


No sweat and minimal work = bad.


Nothing could be farther from the truth.


‘John’ came in for his training session with me this past Saturday morning.


Exhausted from the night before and preparing for a basketball game later
on that day, he just wasn’t ready for the training session that I had planned
for him.


So I scrapped it.


Pure and simple.


Of course I have an agenda for this young man.


Places I need to take him in terms of speed and strength, but I can’t force
him to improve.


More over, I have to hang in the balance the fact that my ultimate goal is
to make him a better athlete – which includes limiting any injury potential
he may be facing.


Here’s the advice that you simply must heed when training young athletes.


And it’s the mistake virtually every Coach and Trainer is making –


What you want to do in a training session doesn’t always matter. You have
to be sure that the organism in front of you in prepared to receive it.


Words to live by.


I will be explaining the key points of this concept at my first annual
International Summit in February of 2009.


Until this Friday (December 19) you can gain access to this event through a
very basic and easy payment plan.


With the Holidays around the corner, no one wants to shell out big bucks for
something other than presents for their loved one’s.


Well, I’ve taken care of that for you with this incredibly easy 3-month
payment plan to assist you with Training Young Athletes.


Have a look for yourself by clicking on this very exclusive link –





‘Till next time,







Training Young Athletes Speed – The Success Keys

Training Young Athletes Speed Is not all about making them sweat.


It’s about making them better.


It’s not about making young athletes tired.


It’s about teaching them so they become more effective.


A lot of my training system isn’t ‘sexy’.


It’s not the ‘cool, new, funky’ stuff that looks impressive.


But it works.


And it builds rock solid athletes every time.


Here’s that training young athletes speed video clip: