How Weather Affects Athletic Performance

Layering for the weather SOURCE: (buzzle.com)
Layering for the weather SOURCE: (buzzle.com)

Personally, I never thought about the weather because I am a tennis player and naturally you go indoors during the fall and winter seasons, but of course hit outside during the spring and summer seasons.

Sports, other than tennis, seem to have a different outcome when it comes to weather, and with our crazy weather last week, I thought it would be nice to get some information on how to keep yourself safe during extreme weather!

During the cold seasons, especially this past week, it could create uncomfortable or life threatening outcomes if you are unprepared for the extremely cold weather.  Here are some symptoms your body will try and alert you with when you are experiencing problems.

Shivering – normally the first sign of being cold. The body is trying to create heat, which is an uncontrollable muscle contraction that causes you to shiver. When you feel your body shivering, seek for shelter and warm up your body. If not, you could experience the two most dangerous conditions, frostbite and hypothermia.

Frostbite – the freezing of superficial tissues of the face, ears, fingers and toes. Some symptoms of frostbite consist of pain, burning, numbness, tingling, skin turning hard and white, skin starts peeling or getting blisters, skin starting to itch, or skin firms to shiny and grayish-yellow.

Hypothermia – the most severe response to cold; a significant drop in body core temperature.  Symptoms of hypothermia consist of shivering, cold sensation, goose bumps, confusion, numbness, intense shivering, lack of coordination, sluggishness, violent shivering, difficulty speaking, mental confusion, stumbling, depression, muscle stiffness, slurred speech, trouble seeing, and unconsciousness.

To keep yourself safe and comfortable during the cold seasons, make sure you layer your clothing.  Layering instead of one thick layer keeps the body warmer. It is also easier to remove when you warm up during your exercise.

Make sure to cover your head and mouth areas.  Our head loses about 50% of our heat, crazy right?! and our mouth to keep you prone from upper respiratory problems.

Be sure to stay dry, especially your feet. Wet, damp clothing increases body-heat loss significantly. No need to lose extra body heat over wetness.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Dehydration affects our whole body, regulating body heat.

Please avoid alcohol or beverages containing caffeine, since both help your bodies dehydrate instead of rehydrate. Keep to water!

Hopefully our weather will warm up to a nice and clear spring season! But until then, stay warm when you are out there trying to workout for that amazing body 🙂