How Olympians use ice in Rio

17th August, 2016

Heat and humidity, not ice and snow, will present the greatest weather challenge to the 10,000 athletes at this month’s Olympics in Rio. But ice will play a key role in aiding athlete performance…and we’re not talking iced drinks! 

Even though it will be winter in Brasil, temperatures could hit around 32 degrees Celsius. Becoming acclimatised and remaining hydrated are key to avoiding heat-related health problems, from cramps to heat stroke.
One of the key tools in the modern athlete’s locker is the ice vest. Competitors will wear them to reduce skin temperature while maintaining a stable core temperature; delay the onset of dehydration by conserving fluid that would normally be lost through sweating; and lower their cardiac output towards the skin allowing more blood to be sent back to the muscles resulting in a prolonged high level of performance.

And, after competition, many will resort to a rather bracing ice bath. The general theory behind this cold therapy is that the exposure to cold helps to combat the microtrauma (small tears) in muscle fibres and the resultant soreness that occurs as a result of intense or repetitive exercise.
The ice bath is thought to constrict blood vessels, flush out waste products and reduce swelling and tissue breakdown. Subsequently, as the tissue warms and the increased blood flow speeds circulation, the healing process is jump-started. 

So, whilst the sun blazes in Rio and the UK(!), ice still has a role to play in protecting our athletes! 

And you can protect your business from winter-related risks by arranging gritting and snow clearance. It’s never too early to get a plan in place, call us on 01728 633900 to find out more about our bespoke winter maintenance service and get a free quote.

Mo in ice bath

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