Thermal and solar strikes during sports competition athletes that are over motivated might overheat by attempting to perform too much, too quickly, or by attempting to endure for an excessive amount of time. After sprinting to the front of a scorching race, an out-of-condition Australian runner continued to push himself until he collapsed from heatstroke at 4.5 kilometres (Lee et al., 1990). The same thing occurred to a rookie runner who, on a moderate day, increased his pace towards the conclusion of a six-mile race and finished first (Hanson et al., 1979). Both runners were fortunate to survive; in distance running, rectal temperature is influenced by pace and metabolic rate (Noakes et al., 1991).
At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and the 1995 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, spectators were treated to agonising displays of endurance. At the Los Angeles Marathon, runner Gabriela Andersen-Scheiss, who had not been prepared for the heat, arrived at the stadium confused and staggering. She waved off assistance and slumped at the finish line after the last lap that seemed to take an eternity. Seven-time winner Paula Newby-Fraser fell at the conclusion of the race in Hawaii after losing her lead. She had missed aid stations late in the race and had lost her concentration. She was able to walk to the finish line after taking some time to relax, calm down, and hydrate (Eichner, 1998).
The military teaches us a lot about leadership. A soldier died of heatstroke while marching through the night with extra weight on his back. He only managed to cover 2.5 miles (Assia et al., 1985). Running creates almost double the amount of heat produced than marching. The majority (40 per cent) of the 82 heat-stroke cases among Israeli troops were caused by short exertion, such as the first three miles of a run. Overmotivation was identified as a risk factor (Epstein et al., 1999).
Football instils a warrior attitude in its players. “The toughest worker” or “eager to prove himself” are two ways in which victims of heatstroke are portrayed. The never-quit mindset might be detrimental to a player during a difficult practise session on a hot day.
The 1-2 Punch is a two-punch combination.
The majority of heat-stroke fatalities in football occur on the first or second day of a two-a-day. In the military, a similar two-punch strategy is used. Researchers discovered a link between heat stress the day before and heat sickness in Marine recruit training after reviewing 1,454 instances of heat illness in Marine recruit training (Kark et al., 1996). As a result, the day after an arduous and draining day in the heat is a particularly vulnerable period for heatstroke.
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Heat and humidity are a problem
In summer sports, it is not the heat that is the problem, but rather the heat and humidity. In football, body temperature increases in a sawtooth pattern, with the temperature becoming increasingly higher the longer the practise session lasts. Consequently, during a rigorous practise session in high gear, heatstroke is conceivable with any combination of ambient temperature over 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.7 degrees Celsius) and relative humidity above 40 per cent (or higher) (Kulka & Kenney, 2002).
It takes time to become heat-fit. Acclimatization is essential in football since heatstroke is a leading predictor of the sport. Triathletes who are not used to the tropical heat of Hawaii suffer as well. Acclimatization, which takes place over a period of a week or two, results in improved drinking and the body’s ability to retain water and salt, increasing blood volume and allowing the heart to pump more blood at a lower heart rate. Heat-fit athletes also sweat more often, in higher volume, and over a larger region of the body, allowing them to keep cooler.
Athletes in the heat may lose 1-2 litres of water every hour, and most athletes consume less water than they lose. As a consequence, dehydration occurs. Even dehydrating 2 per cent of one’s body weight — or five pounds in the case of a 250-pound linebacker — may have a negative impact on athletic performance (Walsh et al., 1994). Dehydration causes an increase in heart rate as well as a reduction in cardiac output. The perceived intensity of the activity grows as dehydration saps mental sharpness and willpower, as well as physical strength and endurance, over the course of the work. Players who are dehydrated also heat up more quickly (Latzka & Montain, 1999).
The football uniform protects players from the elements. As additional equipment is added to the game — from shorts and a shirt to pads and a helmet to a complete uniform — players heat up more quickly, get hotter, and cool down more slowly (Kulka & Kenney, 2002). Runners should also avoid wearing clothing that is impenetrable to vapour since this reduces perspiration evaporation. In 1999, actor Martin Lawrence ran in heavy garments and a wool cap in temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) in order to reduce weight. He went into a coma after collapsing with a fever of 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41.7 degrees Celsius).
Heat Stroke and the Human Body Mass
Athletes that are overweight are more susceptible to heatstroke. Extra fat adds to the load, increasing the amount of heat produced during effort. The NFL has roughly 300 players who weigh 300 pounds or more, which is more than six times the number of players who did so a decade ago. Furthermore, excess fat is not the sole source of excess weight. When a 270-pound player adds 30 pounds of muscle, he increases his ability to generate heat, but he does not increase his surface area enough to effectively shed that heat. Huge linemen have the potential to be heat bombs.