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Active Voice: Dog Days of Summer

Many young athletes will begin their training regimen for fall sports in the next few weeks. Combining the record-breaking heat of 2012 with “two-a-day” practices and pressure to perform better than the competition, we are republishing two Active Voice columns because of this issue’s significance to so many of our readers involved with care and training of student athletes.

Viewpoints presented in SMB represent opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Revisiting Dangers of Football Practice in the Dog Days of Summer
By Lacy A. Holowatz, Ph.D.
(First published in SMB on September 6, 2011)

Lacy A. Holowatz, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. She utilizes in vivo and in vitro approaches using human cutaneous circulation to examine the underlying signaling mechanisms mediating microvascular dysfunction with primary human aging, hypercholesterolemia and essential hypertension. This contribution by Dr. Holowatz addresses physiological issues that increase risk of hyperthermia injury to athletes, a particular concern for the many young athletes around the U.S. who have recently started football practice.

This summer, the majority of the U.S. has experienced prolonged periods of high environmental temperatures and high humidity. As humans, we have the ability to thermoregulate to maintain body temperature within narrow limits during exercise and exposure to heat. However, since 1995 there have been 40 heat stroke deaths reported in high school football players - with 5 of those occurring last year! Therefore, with two-a-day football practices taking place for both college and high school athletes, it is important to understand the physiological issues, dangers, preventative strategies and important safety recommendations to keep athletes safe. More
Exertional Heat Injury: What you can do to prevent it.
By CAPT Scott Pyne, M.D., FACSM
(First published in SMB on September 13, 2011)

CAPT Scott Pyne, M.D., FACSM is a team physician at the United States Naval Academy and the past Sports Medicine Specialty Leader to the Navy Surgeon General. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to directly supporting numerous military medical treatment facilities, he has served as the Medical Director of the Marine Corps Marathon. His diverse professional interests include the medical management of exertional heat illness.

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