For those who are getting ready to migrate from the cooler north to the sunny south, or going to Newk’s Camp in Texas, or will be coming south over the winter … you should be ready for the challenges of playing in the heat and humidity the body is not used to.
According to CBS online article resource, “Researchers know why hot, humid days can cause fatigue. Normally, your body perspires to cool you down when temperatures are high. But if the humidity is also high, you’re trapped in a moist environment where your sweat can’t evaporate and escape from your skin. This causes you to expend extra energy, which can leave you feeling sluggish or fatigued.”
Here are some tips to consider:
• Hydration – Not only drinking DURING a tennis match, but being sure to stay fully hydrated BEFORE you walk onto the court.
• Electrolytes – I am not a big fan of sports drinks; but use them if that is what you like. And also consider high-potassium orange juice and bananas as daily supplements.
• Sun Block – Don’t forget to lather up before playing out in the stronger sunlight closer to the equator.
• Hat – I know just too many guys who have lost pieces of their ears to melanoma; so for that reason and coolness, where at least a baseball cap, if not a wide-brimmed hat.
• Shirts – You will need to have some ‘wick-away’ shirts, otherwise you will be weighted down with sweat-soaked cotton. And keep a spare in your tennis bag to change during a longer match.
• Ego Aside – Don’t be ashamed to take more time than normal in between points and on changeovers. It is not macho to collapse from heat stroke.
• Listen to Your Body – If you are feeling light headed, sit down and don’t push it.
My experience is that it takes about a week for the blood to thin out and your body to get used to playing in the heat and humidity; so don’t rush it (or they be rushing you to the hospital).