Many athletes struggle to deal with a hot head during exercise, especially in summer. It’s not an uncommon problem and it’s one that is actually having an impact on the effectiveness of performance.
Most of the body’s heat loss occurs through the head. It’s one of the reasons why marathon runners pour cool water over their heads during a run.
A recent study in Journal of Athletic Training discovered that keeping the neck cool while training can actually help endurance and performance by increasing the amount of time it takes you to reach exhaustion.
Nike has taken this idea of improving athletes’ ability to keep their heads cool, and created a helmet.Their research facility claims that the face is two to five times as sensitive to heat as other areas of the body.
This conceptual helmet they’ve designed is made out of layers of fabric designed to retain cool water and prevent leaking. The aim is to gradually and effectively keep athletes’ heads cool. The idea came from U.S. Olympian and decathlon world record holder, Ashton Eaton, who wondered whether there was a reason it felt good to pour water on your head after exercise, and if the effects could be better used to improve athletic performance.
It’s just a prototype right now, but it could be the next big thing in sport.
So what can you do until these helmets come to a sports store near you?
1) A cool washcloth on your neck while exercising will help you exercise longer
2) Pour water on your head during your workout if you’re outside. Probably not the best idea in a gym however.
3) Hydrate. Drinking enough water is the best solution for most endurance and recovery issues when working out.
4) An icepack, wrapped in a tea towel, for after your workout will help decrease your recovery time.
5) Go for a swim. There’s nothing better than jumping into a cold pool after a run or cycle (especially in summer), plus you’ll be able to extend your workout that little bit beyond your normal endurance.
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