For those associated with the military, rising temperatures bring about a sense of impending caution and concern due to the deaths of three army reservists involved in a training exercise on the Brecon Beacons in 2013. The three reservists had suffered heat exhaustion during a training exercise in what proved to be the hottest day of the year.
An inquest concluded they would have survived had the hike been stopped after the first signs of heat exhaustion symptoms.
It would seem obvious that, in improving weather conditions, many people will consider exercising outdoors or at least taking their workout outside every few days or so.
However, jogging in the heat can seem a whole lot more exhausting and proves to be a gruelling test of endurance which, as shown above, can lead to potentially fatal consequences.
It is absolutely essential that you maintain hydration throughout your exercise routine outdoors, yet it is also important to reconsider altogether if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. As a member of the military, you should be prepared to reconsider training programmes that may put your life at risk and, while the inquest concluded those in charge of the Brecon Beacons training exercise were at fault, you should also use your own experiences and understanding of rising temperatures to pull out of any gruelling training programmes.
If you are a member of the armed forces and are keen to ensure you are fully prepared for any scenario that may occur which involves exercising in sweltering temperatures, here are some of the most important tips you should follow to prevent heatstroke or heat exhaustion from setting in.
Please be aware that these guidelines are designed to help should you choose to train in the heat. We strongly recommend you reconsider training in temperatures that exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water is the only drink you should carry with you as it contributes to keeping you hydrated and regulating your body temperature in hotter conditions. Hydration before as well as throughout exercise is very important, so make sure you are stocking up on water before you begin your training. Weigh yourself before and after your workout to get a better idea of the amount of water you would need on a hot day. Use the difference to tell you how much sweat was lost and the amount of fluid you need to obtain.
Infographic: The Benefits of Drinking Water
The most efficient clothing for any form of exercise in the heat is light, loose-fitting clothes, with summer combat trousers and standard military camouflage t-shirts designed to offer these exact features.
You need to understand your own body to stay safe during exercise in high temperatures. We each have our own level of susceptibility when it comes to heat, with some losing more electrolytes through sweat than others. The vast majority of people are unaware of the amount of electrolytes they lose in exercise, so it’s crucial that you pay attention to your body and take necessary precautions when you are exercising in intense heat, which includes pulling out of a training session entirely.
Exercise Late in the Day or Early in the Morning
Midday to around 3pm is usually the hottest part of the day and temperatures tend to be far lower in the early morning and later evening. Plan your runs during either of these two sessions and you should be able to avoid the hottest temperatures. You may be able to exercise in hotter temperatures more often if you slowly acclimatise yourself to these conditions. This takes time however, so don’t attempt a long-distance run in 80 degree heat first time out.
Be Aware of Prescription Drugs
Prescriptions drugs as well as other over-the-counter medications can increase your chances of suffering a heat-related illness as they impair sweat glands and promote heat storage. There are a number of prescription drugs that interfere with sweating, including antihistamines, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and antipsychotic drugs.
Article provided by www.cadetdirect.com, a leading supplier of military clothing, footwear and equipment to those serving the UK’s Regular, Reserve and Cadet Forces.