Thursday, September 26, 2013

Heat and Cold

by Domagoj Primužak

previous article from the same series: High Intensity Interval Training 1

Very useful windsurfing backpack
with plastic container for 1,5 liter of fluid.
It's easy to carry, doesn't interfere
with your movement and you can drink
easily without going out (even
By observing weather conditions during windsurfing sessions, it is easy to realize they are very unpredictable. If you are windsurfer and you have just arrived to the spot, the only thing you are up to is whether is windy or not. If it is, quickly rig up the gear and strait in the water.

The last thing you would realize would be ambient temperature, no matter is it 40 deg C in a summer afternoon, or 12 deg C and water with 10 dec C that feels more like -10 in strong winter wind.

Here we get in to potential risk that can affect health, concentration and increase possibility for injuries

The influence of the heat

Body temperature is very constant - 37C; skin temperature however is a 4C lower. This temperature difference ensures very good heat transfer between body and the environment.

In higher outside temperature, the heat release from body is restricted and thus more difficult. The blood vessels increase in diameter to allow blood to get close to the skin quicker and cool down. As a result, blood pressure drops and less blood gets into the muscles and as such, muscles lack oxygen and food. In addition, body releases significant amount of fluid through sweating. So if we do not drink enough water, body gets into the stress that slows muscle activity, causes head ache, muscle spasm and decrease concentration.

As prevention, drinking lots of water is a best option

According to my experience the adequate hydration rate would be one liter of fluid per hour in summer time if windsurfing with moderate to high intensity.

Half a liter would be pure water as body absorbs water the quickest way; another half a liter would be isotonic drink contains electrolytes, glutamine and glucose.

Instead of expensive isotonic drinks (which are well balanced with necessery ingredients) you can make something domestic. For example, the chepaest is: one liter of water, 6 spoons of sugar and 6 spoons of salt. Or: half a liter of some good fruit juice, half a liter of water and couple of spoons of salt.

Body UV protection is of great importance as well. Licra is prefect (so, no naked muscule showing off!) to protect the body from UV. Some hat would be welcome, too.

The influence of the cold

If exposed to cold, body reacts by squeezing blood vessels close to the skin in order to decrease the blood flow and thus prevent body from cooling down. This causes drop in skin temperature. However, body temperature is then more constant and easier to maintain.

The most difficult weather condition is strong wind and cold in the same time.

The prevention would be proper winter ware before, during and particularly after the windsurfing session.

Windsurfing in cold weather condition, if not properly protected from cold is followed by lack of body power and particularly in extremities, body shaking, significant decrease in endurance as well as body coordination. Injuries are more probable, and of course, in the case of breaking the mast or some other part of the equipment during cold weather, our life can be in danger. Proper winter suit, gloves, hat and floating jacket can save our life.

So when we get to windsurfing spot, we should also pay attention to weather conditions like cold in the winter or heat in the summer and prepare accordingly to fully enjoy windsurfing for all day rather then got a cold or something more dangerous, and thus spoiling the joy we have been waiting for so long time.

Next article from the same series: High Intensity Interval Training 1

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