ATHLETE AND RISK OF HYPOTHERMIA

Blog by: Neeraj.M

Edited by: Suryakant Tripathi.

As we know athletes move throughout the world for their competition and training sessions. So they are encounterd by cold weather also and have to manage the risk of hypothermia because Cold weather facilitates the loss of body heat which can reduce body temperature. But it can managed by heat conservation or by increased heat production. 
Exercise and shivering increase metabolic heat production helping to offset body heat losses in the cold. Exercise increases peripheral blood flow facilitating heatloss, an effect that can persist for some time after exercise ceases. Prolonged exercises may lead to energy substrate depletion which compromise the maintenance of thermal balance during cold.
The heat transfer coefficient is mainly influenced by ambient temprature, wind chill and clothing, when vasoconstrictor responses to cold are impaired body heat conservation declines. Chronic exertion impairs temperature control, when heavy physical activity in the cold is coupled with underfeeding for prolonged periods the resulting negative energy balance leads to loss of body mass and reduction in tissue insulation. These effects seen in atlete in winter season which may be responsible for decrease performance and an increased risk of injury and infections.
Preventive measures in cold are appropriate clothing with heat insulation, wearing woollen clothes, changing wet clothes immidiately after training, hot shower, sauna bath, dry and warm clothing. Nutrition should ensure sufficient intake of carbohydrates and appropriate drinking.
In extreme cold condition training schdule should be modified and shortened & indoor training should be planned.

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