Heat and Athletes

football players lined up in a game

People who exercise in extreme heat are more likely to become dehydrated and get heat-related illness.


If you feel faint or weak, STOP all activity and get to a cool place.

If you plan to exercise while it’s hot outside:

  • Limit outdoor activity, especially during the middle of the day when the sun is hottest.
  • Wear and reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
  • Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.
  • Pace activity. Start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually.
  • Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.
  • Monitor a teammate’s condition, and have someone do the same for you.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Follow additional tips on how to prevent heat-related illness.

Learn how to spot heat-related illness

  • Seek medical care immediately if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness.
  • Take a CDC training course. Learn more on how to spot heat-related illness by participating in this course designed for coaches, teachers, parents, and high school athletes.
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