We did bad experiments on each other…
Going back a few years when I was at university studying my honours degree in exercise science I have a few re-occurring nightmares.
We used to do some pretty bad experiments on each other all in the name of science.
One subject I excelled in was Environmental Physiology.
It was one of my key subjects at Uni and despite being a bit slow at school I excelled in this area with commendations from the university for my work.
I even had some published work somewhere!
It was the effect of different environments on the human body.
Heat, cold, humidity, immersion in freezing water.
Its amazing what happens to the body. We monitored skin temperature, gas analysis, exercise performance, blood chemistry in these environments and yes…rectal temperature.
You try rowing maximally for 1 minute with what felt like an electrical cable inserted in your rear at 40 degrees and 90% humidity, its not comfortable!
In all seriousness, much of the time we had to go before an ethics committee and explain our experiment and safety protocol.
Body temperature, especially core temperature is really important. At the time rectal temperature was the most accurate way.
Too cold, you can end up in hospital. Too hot, you can end up in hospital.
Not everyone reacts in the same way.
I remember we had one guy we were testing in cold water. We had all gone through it.
But this guy who was a high level rugby player and didn’t react well.
We got him out the cold water and his core temperature continued to drop…and drop…and drop.
In fact, we were just 0.5 degree from calling an ambulance.
But after a few bananas and getting him on a treadmill, he seemed to be ok.
My medical training kicking in there!
Anyway, why am I telling you this?
This week, its going to get hot.
Very Very Hot.
You need to take care, especially if you are commuting up to London on the trains with all that body heat.
I love training in the summer sun but I got caught out on Monday.
I cycled 67 miles in that heat. I lost 3kg of weight, mainly water.
It took me till Tuesday night to recover and get enough water back in me, I was drinking pints and pints of water.
Loss of water and loss of minerals.
Did you know you are far more likely to be hospitalised from heat than cold as your body doesn’t have many mechanisms to deal with heat other than sweating.
So here are a few tips for you to stay cool and deal with the heat when training.
1. Always have some water with you. A nice tip…
Fill a plastic bottle 3/4 and freeze it. Take it training or to work.
2. Forget formal dress protocol. Dress sensibly. Remember white will reflect the heat.
3. Wear a hat. It looks pretty cool (shades too)
4. You will sweat a lot, even at a low level, its ok. Its the process of the body sweating that keeps you cool (evaporation). Let it happen!
Its nothing to do with fitness!
5. If you’re in an air conditioned office thats great, but don’t have it too cool. Going from too cold to too hot can have some bad effects.
6. The quickest way to cool you down…
If you are at work, run your wrists under cold water, it will cool your blood.
The best way….at home, or if the office will allow it, run small amount of water in a bowl, bucket or truck and stand in cold water.
The effect will be immediate as your blood is cooled.
Your blood comes to the surface, which is why you turn red to cool.
7. Get some salt in you. You sweat a lot of salt/electrolytes etc. Replace them. I use Zeros which are brilliant.
8. Sun protection. Kids sun cream is the best, although dont you too much as you’ll look anaemic.
Hope the above helps.
Have a good evening.
Russell ‘Public Service’ Pearcy
Russell Pearcy has been working as a health and fitness coach for over 25 years helping men and women who feel tired and washed up get back in shape. Russell has also draws upon his experience as an Ironman triathlete to help coach others through this life changing transformation.