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Make Sure your body is ready for summer camps

Posted Tuesday, June 04, 2013 by Joe Susan Bucknell

The camp season intensifies over the next two months. Many of you have a challenging schedule. It is critical that you do what it takes to keep your health both physically and mentally. As the heat progresses both from a climate standpoint and from the pressure of performance, remember, you are an elite athlete.

Take care of your body and it will take care of you. Hydrate, stretch, sleep and eat. The caloric demands increase as you go through physical activity in the heat. At times the need to hydrate impacts your appetite. The fluids you should take in should not be too concentrated. You can cut most sports drinks with 50% water and they will maintain their effectiveness. Be careful of taking in too much sugar as it will stress your body’s fluid stores and potentially bloat you.

Hydration is critical in that our body is comprised of approximately 90% water. Any change in this puts a stress on our ability to perform at a maximal level. You should never be thirsty. If you are then you are dehydrated and run the risk of a variety of problems. Cramping is where it starts. If you study the physiology of cramping it is an injury to the muscles that cramp. This can set you back in your training and is so easy to avoid.

Further dehydration can make you susceptible to heat related illness which can have an impact on your kidneys. You must take steps to avoid this.

Taking in 4,000-6,000 calories a day takes a lot of work. You have to be strategic in what you eat and when you eat. Multiple smaller meals are best. Be careful of the high priced supplements that are on the market. Many are loaded with sugars and high fat content. I will address specific approaches in a future correspondence.

Training in the heat is important to adapt your body to function at its optimal level when stressed by heat. You know you are going to have to play and practice in the heat so do what it takes to make it an advantage.

Our players welcome the heat as they know they are conditioned to it. We always tell them to work to control the factors they can control. Let:

HOT, COLD, DRY, WET, DARK, SUN, NOISE, PAIN….impact normal people. Use these factors to your advantage.

It is critical that you develop a balance between preparation for football and preparation for life. For many of you this summer will be the last of its kind. It changes from here. Do what it takes to make sure the change is a positive one.


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