Everyone knows it’s important to make sure you’re keeping cool during exercise in the summer heat. However, it’s also essential to understand how to stay cool when you’re practicing and competing indoors this winter.
But how do you (or your kids) manage to keep your cool when gyms and indoor arenas can get so hot? Here are some strategies for maintaining a cool temperature and optimal performance before and during competition.
One of the effective strategies for keeping cool during workouts and competitions is utilizing precooling. This combination of techniques involves cooling your body down before starting a workout in order to help you avoid heat exhaustion for longer. Studies show that pre-cooling can improve your performance by up to 7% when exercising in 85° F temperatures or higher.
Many different precooling techniques have been tried, but the ones that seem to have the largest effect are immersing yourself in cold water, drinking cold water or an ice slurry, and cooling packs.
Immersing yourself in cold water doesn’t have to be really cold. Experiments involved immersion in water that ranged from 50° to 75° F
Drinking cold water – not much above freezing – or an ice slurry not only helps drop your body temperature, but also hydrates you. In general, you should start hydrating at least 15 minutes before you begin exercising. Note that some people find the consumption of cold beverages before exertion leads to stomach upset. Test this for yourself before trying it on the day of the competition.
For maximum effectiveness, apply cooling packs to the areas you’re going to utilize most. Using cooling packs on the legs, for example, has been shown to help athletes run up to 6% faster.
These techniques can be utilized together to improve the effects, though the improvement is not enormous (i.e. 7% vs. 6% improvement).
It’s also good to employ cooling techniques during workouts, training, or competitions. The number one technique for staying cool during a workout is having cool air blow on you during and between activities. This can improve your performance in hot conditions by nearly 19%. Wearing a cooling vest can also improve performance substantially, up to 11%. Drinking cold water or an ice slurry during your activity can potentially improve your performance by up to 6%. Note that some people report the same problems while drinking a cold beverage during workouts as before them.
With the significant potential effect of a cooling wind during exertion, this seems like the standout method for keeping cool during indoor sports if you’re trying to maximize performance.
You might think that a fan for sports might be a good choice to help cool down. If you want to take advantage of the maximum benefit from a cooling wind, though, an indoor fan is not the best choice. That’s because the cooling wind has to be at a lower temperature than the air you’re exercising in, or else it doesn’t provide the performance-boosting cooling. For maximum effect, then, you need a technique that doesn’t just blow around hot air, but provides cool air.
An evaporative cooler for athletics meets these criteria. It can take the heated air of a gym or sports venue where you’re working out or kids are competing, and cool it down to promote better performance, not to mention avoiding heat exhaustion and other effects.
Portacool evaporative coolers make a great choice for athletics. With a wide range of sizes and styles, it’s easy to get an evaporative cooler that meets the needs of your gym or athletic competitions. You might get one for indoor use now, then find that it’s an excellent choice for year-round use as sports move outside with the warmer summer temperatures.
Plus, Portacool has been made in the USA since 1990. We offer best-in-class warranties and customer service to help ensure your Portacool is a good investment in cooling for years to come.
To learn how Portacool can provide cooler conditions for athletes and kids at your gym or athletic program, please contact a local or online retailer today.