Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

Get Healthy and Fit Like a Champion

Get some summertime health and fitness tips from three Olympic medal winners and their coach.

Heat, Humidity, and Safe Summer Fun

While the fun of summer activity is getting to spend your time outdoors, in most parts of the country a single day in the summer heat can go from uncomfortable to scorching before you know it. This is particularly true if you start your day at the beach or park in the early morning and playtime stretches into the hottest part of the afternoon.

For members of the U.S. Olympic volleyball team, who say they sometimes play in tropical locales where the heat is over 100 degrees and the humidity nearly as high, taking some hot weather precautions is essential to their sporting success.

All the team members agree that keeping your body well hydrated in hot weather is key to staying on your feet. But in addition to water they all say that the more demands the sport places on their body, the more they rely on sports drinks and power bars to see them through.

"I have bottled water and Gatorade with me all the time, plus plenty of fresh fruit, which I also snack on constantly," says McPeak.

While she says she rarely gets muscle cramps, even in the hottest weather, the athletes who do, she says, often rely on Pedialite and sometimes sodium tablets to prevent problems.

Youngs says she bypasses the sweeter drinks, like Gatorade, and chooses instead water and Phytomax -- an electrolyte drink that has less sugar and, she says, more power to refresh and replenish her.

"I'm also constantly eating at tournaments -- protein bars, Balance Bars, drinking electrolytes, and keeping my feet up when I'm not playing," says Youngs.

The one thing she avoids drinking is icy cold water, particularly when her body is overheated.

"When I reach for that bottle of water I always look for the one that has been sitting outside the cooler for a little while. It seems to go down easier and I can drink more of it," says Youngs.

For a quick cool down McPeak says nothing is better than a cold towel on the back of the neck.

"Sometimes I skip the towel and just pour the water straight down the back of my neck and head. It's like an instant cool down and it really works," says McPeak.

Finally, if there's one Olympic-size message that all three medal winners subscribe to, it's the liberal use of sunscreen anytime they are outdoors. Indeed, each athlete says she wouldn't dream of spending even five minutes in the sun without sunglasses, a visor or hat, and the protection that sunscreen provides.

"And we all believe it's important to keep reapplying it since heavy perspiration can reduce the effectiveness. And if you go in the water, reapply as well for continued protection," says Youngs.

In addition, all three winners say they cover their body as much as possible when they are outdoors, and, when they aren't on the volleyball court, they stay out of direct sun.

1|2|3

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Slideshow
Flat Abs
Slideshow
 
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
Slideshow
woman using ice pack
Quiz
 

man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article