One of the underlying factors responsible for performance decrement during exercise in a hot environment appears to be an elevated core temperature. For this reason, strategies that minimise the rise in core temperature during exercise in the heat are likely to be effective in enhancing exercise performance. There are several strategies to minimise this negative effect. Ensuring adequate hydration prior to and during exercise has been shown to enhance performance in heat. Furthermore acclimatisation to heat will reduce the rise in body temperature and improve tolerance to heat stress. There are several ways of acclimatising for competition in the heat. One is to live and train in a climate similar to that expected at the competition venue. The other approach is to live at home and acclimate by training in an artificial climate. 80% Of the acclimatisation generally occurs after 4 to 6 days, however a complete acclimatisation of the body may take more than two weeks. Monitoring of individual responses to heat stress and of the rate and extent of acclimatisation is an essential part of preparation for competition in the heat. Regular monitoring of body mass, morning heart rate and core temperature can give useful information on the athlete's acclimatisation status.
|Translated title of the contribution||Exercise in a hot environment: Strategies for an optimal preparation|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Geneeskunde en Sport|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2004|