Showing posts with label training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label training. Show all posts

Thursday, November 29, 2018

What Happens to Your Body When You Train in Cold Weather

Is it hard to practice outdoor sports in cold temperatures? Is it better to postpone our training for another time? One of the characteristics of the human body is that it is equally prepared to train with both high and low temperatures, although doing so at both extremes always poses a health risk. "With lower degrees the body must generate heat to prevent our body temperature drops, which means a greater flow of blood to the skin and a greater loss of energy".

What Happens to Your Body When You Train in Cold Weather


So how does the body raise the temperature? If the thermostat is responsible for keeping our house at a good temperature in our home, the equivalent in our organism is the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that is in charge of different bodily functions including evaluating the temperature of neurons and receiving this information from all areas of the body. If the hypothalamus detects that the temperature is low, it activates the appropriate mechanisms to increase it, an action that is replicated when we perform sports in cold outdoor areas:

  • Muscle contraction: the decrease of the degrees in the thermometer causes involuntary muscle contractions that increase muscle tone. These contractions consume energy that is transformed into heat.
  • Vasoconstriction: this mechanism narrows blood vessels (reducing their diameter) and increases resistance to the passage of blood to the body surface. This prevents heat loss.
  • Goose bumps: this common term we use to refer to piloerection is another of the resources used by the human body to maintain heat: the hair of the skin is lifted, the layer of air is trapped under the hair and prevents heat loss.
  • The metabolism is set in motion: finally, the production of different hormones in the thyroid glands is stimulated and increased, the hormone THR and TSH (the latter in the pituitary gland) are elevated and as a consequence the rest of the body's cells produce heat.
Cold weather training

How and when to train?

To begin with, Rodriguez reminds us that daylight hours are always the best for training, especially during the first hours until 12:00 in the morning.

Regarding the duration of physical exercise, he points out that it will be given by the usual practice. "As a general rule, whether indoor or outdoor, with cold or heat, I find the best ratio benefits / training time in no more than 1 hour. The key to training will be found in the intensity and not so much in high durations," he specifies.

In addition, the expert places special emphasis on choosing the right equipment to be used and opting for breathable garments that will improve the regulation of body heat. "You have to be very generous in sheltering the most distal points: hands, feet and head, and not in sweatshirts, double mesh, etc. We must bear in mind that the cold we feel as soon as we go out is going to be very different from the cold we feel after only 5 minutes of training, so excess clothing can be very uncomfortable", he adds.

Having these points clear, the director of Health Zagros Sports La Moraleja recommends that when choosing the activities opt for continuous exercises and / or with medium / high intensity. "If you like to do outdoor training with flexions, squats, burpees, etc., I would always choose to do it on circuits, as we must avoid high rest times", he advises.



What not to do when you train in cold weather

One of the most common mistakes when practicing sports in winter and outdoors is related to warming up. On the one hand, the lack of it can cause muscular injuries; on the other hand, when we go outside and face the cold we warm up too intensely to get warm earlier. "This is going to cause more oxygen debt and it is going to weigh down the whole training. Cold training does not change the general prescriptions of our warm-up," explains the specialist.

In addition to the absence of warm-up, another cause of injury can be the excess recovery time that causes some degree of temperature loss to our muscles. "We must understand that if the muscle temperature drops, its viscosity is also reduced, so its contractility will be compromised. That is why we stress the importance of shortening rest times.

Finally, not covering the extremities well (especially if there is poor peripheral circulation) can contribute to the appearance of chilblains. Rodriguez's solution is to wear gloves, a panty or a hat, which will never bother us when it comes to training.

So how can we practice sports in cold weather without compromising our health? Once we are well wrapped up and have warmed up, we have to start progressively the first days of intense cold (below 4ºC) and increase the duration little by little during the first week.

"If you've never done sports, it's best to start with indoor sports in winter. It's too much stress for the first time, but you should never postpone or not do a workout because it's cold!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Guidelines for Exercising in Hot Weather

In summer, many people exercise, and with the high temperatures, it is necessary to be especially careful and to train at the right times and places, to wear suitable clothing and to take precautions regarding the sensations that our body tells us at all times.

Tips For Exercising Safely In Hot Weather


In order to avoid any risk and workout in the best possible way, it is advisable to set aside "a time of 10 to 15 days of conditioning at high temperatures, starting the exercise gradually and progressively and increasing the intensity gradually; to schedule training at the least hot hours; to avoid high-intensity exercises and to maintain adequate hydration before, during and after training, together with a correct diet".

Hours and places to workout in summer

The best advice is not to exercise at high temperatures. "In the open air, 20º - 24º C are considered good temperatures for training, and it is dangerous to train from 32º C onwards, and this is aggravated by the high relative humidity of the air", says the teacher. Therefore, it is necessary to "look for times when these circumstances occur, which occurs in the extreme hours of the day and not in the central hours (12:00 to 17:00)," he adds.

The places where we do our training should be "cool, ventilated, with adequate relative humidity, with adequate shade and taking into account the altitude", the specialist points out. Other options that we can consider for exercise are to practice it in the aquatic environment.

Appropriate clothes to workout in hot weather

With regard to clothing, it should be "light-colored, breathable and quick-drying dry fit, preferably with sleeves and shorts, as well as a protective cap and sunglasses, while footwear should be comfortable, tight and suitable for the surface on which we train". In addition to this type of clothing, the parts of the body that remain in the air must be protected by the application of protective creams and Vaseline.

Hydrate ourselves before the thirst comes

To do sports we have to hydrate ourselves before we have to be, so during exercise, "drinking water every 20 to 30 minutes is a good guideline," says the specialist.  In general, "drink water (500 ml) in the two hours prior to training, refill with water during training if it is less than one hour and with isotonic drinks if it exceeds it or is of high intensity, and refill (approximately 1,200 ml) in the hour following completion". Not all liquids are good, so you should avoid alcoholic beverages and those containing stimulants, such as caffeine and taurine, among their ingredients, because with them, dehydration occurs more quickly.

How our body manages summer workout

The dehydration that we can suffer when playing sports in high temperatures presents a series of symptoms. "Dizziness, nausea, heart rhythm disturbances and muscle cramps are an indication to go to shaded areas and start drinking fluid". In addition to these symptoms, we can also suffer from heat stroke that will require the attention of a healthcare professional.

Our body gives off the heat, and the best way is to do "a correct cooling after the end of the main part of the training by carrying out a period of exercises of return to calm with progressive decrease in intensity and adjusting them to the activity carried out", explains the teacher. In addition, another mechanism that our body has for expelling heat is rehydration, provided it is done properly.

People with higher risks when training

Training at such high temperatures at this time of year "can be a problem for people with certain basic pathologies, or it can be the cause of certain illnesses", says the specialist. Thus, dehydration can significantly affect "people with alterations in thermoregulation that can make them more prone to cramps and other muscular-skeletal injuries". More people who should be careful when training in summer are those who suffer from "blood pressure disorders, skin problems or allergies to their own sweat".



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On the other hand, heat stroke can be suffered by "people with poor physical fitness, a history of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and those who ingest alcohol or have individual susceptibility".