Wow, it has been hot this summer! How can you prepare for the heat and stay safe when temperatures can easily surge over 100 degrees on the court? The scary part is, the hot weather can be dangerous when you are playing. There are three types of heat-related illnesses that you may see on the courts. I know I have seen tennis players suffering from some of these conditions in the last couple weeks.
If you feel cramps in your legs or arms, this could be from the heat. You may even notice suddenly youstart sweating excessively.
If you notice these symptoms this try stopping and moving to a cool place and try some light stretching. Drink water or an electrolyte replacement and grab some ice and massage it on the affected areas.
It’s hot, but your skin feels cold and clammy and you look pale.You may be suffering from heat exhaustion. If you suddenly feel weak, dizzy with a headache and vomiting this is also heat exhaustion.
Do not continue to play go to a cool place and lay down with a cold towel. Grab water or electrolyte replacement and do not go back onto the court.
Drowsiness, disorientation or a glassy stare are all signs of heat stroke. Usually, you will feel you are burning up with a rapid pulse and no sweat. You may notice your skin is red, hot and dry. If you suspect heat stroke, call medical attention immediately. You need to get the body immersed in cold water and try to cool down the core temperature.
A few quick tips to help you avoid heat-related illnesses are:
Increase Salt – This is the primary electrolyte lost in sweat and essential to replace it throughout the day. I add salt to my water to help aid in hot days.
Don’t wait until you are thirsty – To avoid dehydration make sure you are drinking in between games not just when you feel thirsty.
Stay hydrated – Make sure you stay hydrated the day before and day of the match if you will be playing in the heat. Electrolyte drinks and water are your best bet.
Clothing – Grab your light-colored, loose fabrics that are sweat-wicking to help sweat evaporate quickly.
Be safe and have fun!