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Contents

1. Introduction
2. Cardiorespiratory fitness
3. Muscular endurance and strength
4. Flexibility
5. Nutrition and fitness
6. Environmental considerations
  - Temperature regulation
  - Heat injuries and symptoms
  - Acclimatization to hot, humid environments
  - Exercising in cold environments
  - Acclimatization to high altitudes
  - Air pollution and exercise
7. Injuries

A. Physiological differences between the sexes

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EXERCISING IN COLD ENVIRONMENTS

Contrary to popular belief, there are few real dangers in exercising at temperatures well below freezing. Since the body produces large amounts of heat during exercise, it has little trouble maintaining a normal temperature. There is no danger of freezing the lungs. However, without proper precautions, hypothermia, frostbite, and dehydration can occur.

HYPOTHERMIA

If the body's core temperature drops below normal, its ability to regulate its temperature can become impaired or lost. This condition is called hypothermia. It develops because the body cannot produce heat as fast as it is losing it. This can lead to death. The chance of a person becoming hypothermic is a major threat any time he is exposed to the cold.

Some symptoms of hypothermia are shivering, loss of judgment, slurred speech, drowsiness, and muscle weakness.

Hypothermia develops when the body cannot produce heat as fast as it is losing it.

During exercise in the cold, people usually produce enough heat to maintain normal body temperature. As they get fatigued, however, they slow down and their bodies produce less heat. Also, people often overdress for exercise in the cold. This makes the body sweat. The sweat dampens the clothing next to the skin making it a good conductor of heat. The combination of decreased heat production and increased heat loss can cause a rapid onset of hypothermia.

Some guidelines for dressing for cold weather exercise are listed below:

Guidelines for Dressing for Exercise in the Cold
  • Clothing for cold weather should protect, insulate and ventilate:
    - Protect by covering as large an area of the body as possible.
    - Insulation will occur by trapping air which has been warmed by the body and holding it near the skin.
    - Ventilate by allowing a two-way exchange of air through the various layers of clothing.

  • Clothing should leave your body slightly cool rather than hot.

  • Clothing should be loose enough to allow air movement.

  • Clothing soaked with perspiration should be removed if reasonably possible.

  • Clothing should cover the head and neck. 40 percent of body heat is lost when the head and neck are uncovered.

  • Feet should be kept dry.

FROSTBITE

Frostbite is the freezing of body tissue. It commonly occurs in body parts located away from the core and exposed to the cold such as the nose, ears, feet, hands, and skin. Severe cases of frostbite may require amputation.

Factors which lead to frostbite are cold temperatures combined with windy conditions. The wind has a great cooling effect because it causes rapid convective heat transfer from the body. For a given temperature, the higher the wind speed, the greater the cooling effect.

A person's movement through the air creates an effect similar to that caused by wind. Riding a bicycle at 15 mph is the same as standing in a 15-mph wind. If, in addition, there is a 5-mph headwind, the overall effect is equivalent to a 20-mph wind. Therefore, an exercising person must be very cautious to avoid getting frostbite. Covering exposed parts of the body will substantially reduce the risks.

DEHYDRATION

Dehydration can result from losing body fluids faster than they are replaced. Cold environments are often dry, and water may be limited. As a result, one may in time become dehydrated. While operating in extremely cold climates, it is important to check one's body weight frequently and drink liquids whenever possible.



Environmental considerations
Temperature regulation | Heat injuries and symptoms | Acclimatization to hot, humid environments | Exercising in cold environments | Acclimatization to high altitudes | Air pollution and exercise |





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