Health and fitness: Know the warning signs of heat stress as we head towards summer

HOT STUFF: Cooks Hill Football Club players Breah Young and Isabel Temperley rehydrate after playing in the NNSW Women's State Cup in 30-plus-degree heat at Speers Point on Sunday.
HOT STUFF: Cooks Hill Football Club players Breah Young and Isabel Temperley rehydrate after playing in the NNSW Women's State Cup in 30-plus-degree heat at Speers Point on Sunday.

As the weather warms up, you might feel more motivated to get out and exercise but there are a few things to think about before you do.

I was playing football over the weekend and one thing was pretty evident – it was much hotter than a about a month ago.

Energy levels can drop in warmer weather and you can become dehydrated a lot quicker, so get outdoors and get moving but there are a few things to consider when doing so.

According to betterhealth.vic.gov.au, heat stress “occurs when sweat can’t evaporate fast enough to keep the body sufficiently cool”. Signs of heat stress include: “muscle cramps, deterioration in sporting performance, headache and dizziness”.

Some tips to ensuring you are not overheating through exercise include, drinking adequate fluids, training earlier or later in the day when it is cooler, taking more breaks and reassessing your clothing.

Fruit and veg for free in study

Participants in a new Hunter Medical Research Institute nutrition and physical activity study at the University of Newcastle will gain a week’s worth of fruit and vegetables for free, along with $100 towards their grocery bill, while potentially losing weight.

Researchers from the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition are examining exactly how much a diet rich in fruit-and-veg contributes to weight loss, and how it relates to protecting the body from inflammation after high-intensity physical activity.

LOOK INTO WEIGHT-LOSS: University of Newcastle researcher Erin Clarke is recruiting males and females aged 18-45 years for a new study.

LOOK INTO WEIGHT-LOSS: University of Newcastle researcher Erin Clarke is recruiting males and females aged 18-45 years for a new study.

Dietitian and researcher Erin Clarke often advises people to eat more fruit and vegetable and said: “Now we want to study the science behind that and look at how healthy eating helps protect the body from inflammation.”

“Knowing how much fruit and vegetables you should aim for, along with cost, appear to be deterrents for people eating more fruit and vegetables themselves,” she said. “So the idea of supplying a box is to show how much people should be eating per week – hopefully it will make it easier to implement when grocery shopping.”

Included will be bananas, oranges, frozen berries, fresh and tinned tomatoes, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, lettuce, zucchini, cucumber and frozen peas and corn. She said there would be personalised dietary advice and support and researchers aimed to help people lose between up to 10 kilograms over the course of the study.

The team is recruiting males and females aged 18-45 years, with a Body Mass Index of 25-35 (overweight to obese) and no health issues that would increase the risk of undertaking high-intensity exercise. More details via Erin.Clarke@uon.edu.au.

FIVE BENEFITS OF HAVING GREEN TEA

Naturopath Peter Mullen, from Mullen Natural Health Centre, is offering some healthy food tips for spring.

His five reasons why you should drink more green tea are: Weight loss, energy boost, reducing cancer risk , help control blood sugar and glowing skin.

When it heats up, hitting the water can be an alternative way to work out.

SPRING LOADED WORKOUT #4

This session combines some land and water activity. Swimming or walking/jogging in water is great low-impact fitness. If you are swimming, ensure you think about muscular balance. That is, if you are doing freestyle laps then add some backstroke to engage opposing muscles.

10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 rows, swim 2-4 laps freestyle. 10 dead lifts, 10 lunges, 10 shoulder press, swim 2-4 laps backstroke. Repeat two times.

If you are not much of a swimmer then try walking or jogging in the water instead.

UPCOMING FITNESS EVENTS

Fernleigh 15, October 22, Fernleigh Track: This 15-kilometre course can be done as an individual or in a five-person relay. runnsw.com.au.

Relay For Life, Hunter Sports Centre, Glendale, November 4: Raising funds for the Cancer Council, Relay for Life goes for 12 hours and involves cancer survivors, patients, carers and loved ones. cancercouncil.com.au.

Maitland Triathlon, Morpeth, November 12: This popular Olympic distance (1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run) triathlon is back after a five-year absence. Open to individuals or teams. maitlandtriathlon.com.au.

Renee Valentine is a writer, personal trainer and mother. r.valentine@fairfaxmedia.com.au.