Training Guide: Heat Acclimation Training

Melting in the summer heat? Chris Giblin with Men’s Fitness Magazine explains how heat acclimation training can help boost fitness performance. A study performed at the University of Oregon showed noticeable and significant performance increases with heat acclimation training versus more temperate conditions. Not only did working out in a hot environment improve performance in hot conditions, but performance in cooler temperatures was also improved. As mentioned by Chris Giblin, heat acclimation training isn’t for the average fitness folk, but for an experienced elite athlete it can be a very useful training advantage. Nevertheless, for the elite competitive athletes out there (marathon runners, triathletes, cyclists, etc.) there are several tips to take to heart:

  1. Exercise in 101 degree Fahrenheit to elevate your core body temperature.
  2. Train for 60 minutes with elevated core body temperature to ensure true heat acclimation.
  3. Train 5 to 10 days in extreme heat conditions to make sure you are getting the heat exposure you need to acclimate. It is vitally important to follow heat condition precautions while exercising in high heat conditions.

While training in the heat is not pleasant, there are ways to prepare your body to make training in the heat safer and more effective. Signs and symptoms of heat illness include fatigue, dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, or disorientation. It’s important to recognize the signs of heat illness, and if you begin to experience any of these you should stop and move to a cooler, shaded area to cool down and rehydrate. Here are a few tips to stay healthy and safe during extreme heat conditions:

  1. In the article, Cedric Bryant, PhD, recommends 16-24 ounces of water a few hours prior to exercise. He then recommends 6-8 ounces of water for every 15-20 min of exercise. You may need to add electrolytes for intense or lengthy workouts.
  2. Acclimate your body to the heat slowly. It takes about 10 days to acclimate yourself to your environment. Reduce your volume, duration and intensity of exercise and slowly increase each day to acclimate to the heat.
  3. Wear appropriate clothing. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling you down. Wear breathable, light weight, light colored clothing. Stay away from cotton clothing.
  4. Avoid mid-day workouts. Workout early in the morning or later at night to avoid the mid-day heat.

If you have anymore questions about maximizing your training program, call us today at Elite Nutrition and Performance for a FREE NO ONLIGATION CONSULTATION.

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Jesa Culy personal Trainer from ENP

Jesa Culy, BS, ACE-CPT


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