Heat tolerance and aging

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
When I was younger, my history of growing up in New Orleans and playing marathon 5 setters against my twin brother gave me tremendous endurance and usually a significant competitive advantage in the summer heat. It seems that as I push further north of 50, I no longer have this advantage. The first real wave of heat just hit the southeast US, and I was drained after the first 60 minutes.

I do think my heat tolerance will improve somewhat after I've had a chance to play in the heat a few times, and perhaps even more if I do my mountain biking closer to the heat of the day. (I prefer cooler mornings and evenings.) I can also do a better job with the electrolytes and possibly blood sugar, though my hydration has already been very good. But I doubt it will ever return to what it was in my 40s.

Other challenges of the summer heat are the speed of the courts, lower resistance on the ball, and the propensity for my slice BHs and flat FHs to sail long when I attempt any pace at all. I love the slower, winter courts when I can smack the ball hard and it lands deep in the court rather than sailing long.

So, what are y'all's experiences with aging and heat tolerance? Other challenges of hot weather?
 

Turbo-87

Legend
My challenge with heat is that I simply avoid it when at all possible. I have been severely dehydrated and in the ER a few times in my life. Even when I would drink a ton I would still get sick and I was told that my body loses more salt in sweat than normal so I am ultra susceptible to it. Nowadays I just avoid heat and humidity as much as I can in the sports world, i.e. I don't enter tournaments until the last minute when I can see the weather forecast. I just don't put myself in those situations anymore and it took me years to admit that I just can't do it. I am not sureshs. As preventative maintenance I will take Salt Stix or Thermotab salt supplements even if I am just playing a 90 minute league match in heat. I am that gun shy. Having been so sick I couldn't even hold down water will do that. I'm 46.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I get ya @MathGeek . I was referred to as "the camel" in my youth, hiking during the summer all day, or playing volleyball, or any number of outdoor activities. Never had a problem and LOVED being in the heat. Anymore, temps start hitting in the 90's and I can feel it. Body doesn't regulate half as good as it used to either. So I drink more water, take more breaks, and schedule early or late in the day. About all one can do living in Arizona were 110+ summer temps are averages.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
So, what are y'all's experiences with aging and heat tolerance? Other challenges of hot weather?
Like @IA-SteveB I've had some unfortunate situations that are making me far more conscious of the decisions I take when playing in the heat.

The best way to prepare is to ease yourself in to competing in hot weather. Acclimatizing to hot weather is a real thing, and most people can see continued improvement over a period of daily exercise for up to 14 days. Beyond that, it's doing the small things to cover up for your body's slower recovery. Drink water instead of wine the night before and keep drinking water throughout. I believe what does most people in is the reduction in time spent outside (naturally acclimating) and underestimating how much slower our bodies recover.

As TTPS mentioned, wear clothing that's good at wicking sweat away from the body. When you're wet and the moisture is sitting on you then the body isn't able to dissipate heat as effectively. This is especially important when humidity is high. I wear a hat now to keep my brain from cooking like an egg.

Lastly, be aware of potential impacts from the medication you may be/are taking. For example, there are many drugs that inhibit sweat production. Be careful with NSAIDs too, as hydration levels can significantly change how they impact your body, and can even lead to kidney issues.
 

mikeler

Moderator
Every year I think in those first few hot matches, "I can't do this anymore". Then my body adapts and I'm OK with it. If I take a summer vacation to a colder climate and then come back, the first match back I really struggle but then I'm usually OK after that.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
My body certainly doesn’t do well in extreme heat. I’m currently living temporarily in a hot climate, and I don’t even bother to schedule tennis before sundown anymore. And even then I had my body break down a couple of weeks ago and lose its ability to cover the court after 90 minutes of high 80s high-humidity singles.
 

onehandbh

Legend
My body certainly doesn’t do well in extreme heat. I’m currently living temporarily in a hot climate, and I don’t even bother to schedule tennis before sundown anymore. And even then I had my body break down a couple of weeks ago and lose its ability to cover the court after 90 minutes of high 80s high-humidity singles.
Which area are you living in now?
Will you be back home in late July/Aug?

Using a sample size of one -- myself -- it appears that it is possible to adapt to heat and humidity.
My first time playing tennis in mid 80s -90 degree and super humid weather, I was exhausted after about 30-40 minutes.

Now I am much better adapted even though I don't do much cardio and only exercise a few times a week.

The last time couple times we played, I noticed that even though my tennis was very rusty from lack of regular playing, my endurance felt pretty okay. I think this might be from staying in a more humid and hotter climate for awhile.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Never thought about heat till watching two teammates turn blue and drop from high humidity, 100 degree temps, and no shade in Indy in August. Will always and forever...........................believe hydrating the night and day before with 104 cans of beer in a trashcan may contributed to their lack of conditioning.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
I try to play in the heat as much as possible. I enjoy the cooler temps for sure. But I think the disgusting level of heat and humidity in the southeast provides a unique training opportunity.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I do much better with heat now than I did 30 years ago in my 20s .... maybe I am just smarter about it, maybe I have adapted.

In my 20s in Atlanta playing soccer ... temps around 90 and high humidity ... full on heat stroke ... shivering and all.

Now, I play regularly at 100 with no problems. In the hottest parts of the summer when it crosses 110 (trust me there is a HUGE difference between 100 and 110) I play either in the morning or after the sun goes down ... but still up near or just over 100 on the court. Yeah its a "dry heat" but its still high heat.

I am never seen without a bottle of liquid all day every day .... and while playing or doing anything physical like yard work I choose something with electrolytes never just water
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I do much better with heat now than I did 30 years ago in my 20s .... maybe I am just smarter about it, maybe I have adapted.

In my 20s in Atlanta playing soccer ... temps around 90 and high humidity ... full on heat stroke ... shivering and all.

Now, I play regularly at 100 with no problems. In the hottest parts of the summer when it crosses 110 (trust me there is a HUGE difference between 100 and 110) I play either in the morning or after the sun goes down ... but still up near or just over 100 on the court. Yeah its a "dry heat" but its still high heat.

I am never seen without a bottle of liquid all day every day .... and while playing or doing anything physical like yard work I choose something with electrolytes never just water
Amazon has a liquid just for you
 

Kobble

Hall of Fame
I am 40 and I don't feel the heat is as much of a problem as my back just stiffening up. I can stay out and hit for 4+ hours, and never feel heat exhausted in a too much heat sense. But I now get the back pains and loss of ROM as a session progresses, and when I first started my legs felt dead after two hours. The back issue is the worst, because I feel just as I am getting warmed up my looseness and freedom of movement takes a dive. Everything is weird right now, anyway. My vertical jump using arm swing as been declining, while my vertical jump with hands on my hips has been increasing, and that makes little sense to me.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I try to play in the heat as much as possible. I enjoy the cooler temps for sure. But I think the disgusting level of heat and humidity in the southeast provides a unique training opportunity.
Yes they do. But the issue I find is easing into it in a manner to benefit and not just have a prolonged recovery time.

I am 40 and I don't feel the heat is as much of a problem as my back just stiffening up. I can stay out and hit for 4+ hours, and never feel heat exhausted in a too much heat sense. But I now get the back pains and loss of ROM as a session progresses, and when I first started my legs felt dead after two hours. The back issue is the worst, because I feel just as I am getting warmed up my looseness and freedom of movement takes a dive. Everything is weird right now, anyway. My vertical jump using arm swing as been declining, while my vertical jump with hands on my hips has been increasing, and that makes little sense to me.
Interesting. My back is always looser in these difficult temperatures. It used to be a huge advantage because I could really pound my serve and get lots of aces. But a switch of racquet and loss of strength with age I can't go to the well for nearly as many aces. But at least my back hurts a lot less.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
When I was younger, my history of growing up in New Orleans and playing marathon 5 setters against my twin brother gave me tremendous endurance and usually a significant competitive advantage in the summer heat. It seems that as I push further north of 50, I no longer have this advantage. The first real wave of heat just hit the southeast US, and I was drained after the first 60 minutes.

I do think my heat tolerance will improve somewhat after I've had a chance to play in the heat a few times, and perhaps even more if I do my mountain biking closer to the heat of the day. (I prefer cooler mornings and evenings.) I can also do a better job with the electrolytes and possibly blood sugar, though my hydration has already been very good. But I doubt it will ever return to what it was in my 40s.

Other challenges of the summer heat are the speed of the courts, lower resistance on the ball, and the propensity for my slice BHs and flat FHs to sail long when I attempt any pace at all. I love the slower, winter courts when I can smack the ball hard and it lands deep in the court rather than sailing long.

So, what are y'all's experiences with aging and heat tolerance? Other challenges of hot weather?
I'm from New Orleans as well but maybe a decade or so younger. Strangely enough, I have a twin brother who plays as well and know the conditions you speak of.

I agree that I have a diminished level of heat tolerance because of aging but most of my current condition is purely due to lack sufficient time to acclimate to it. As a kid, teenager and even through college, I was used to being on court anywhere from 4 to 7 days a week for hours at a time. Also, I was playing a lot of other sports in that timeframe too so my overall fitness was much higher. Now..I'm lucky if I can get an hour on court twice a week in the evenings.
 

McLovin

Legend
So, what are y'all's experiences with aging and heat tolerance? Other challenges of hot weather?
For me the issue isn't so much lasting through a match in the heat. I seem to be able to handle it under even the most trying conditions (I won a 2 1/2 singles match at Regionals last July in VA Beach on hard courts...and the match started at 1PM). Recovering, however...

I've found that my body goes into 'recovery mode' after the match is finished, and it can take me up to 36-48 hours before I'm back 100%. This causes me issues if I want to play a tournament, as its almost worthless for me to play singles knowing if I win, I'll likely have a 2nd match 3-4 hours later.

This has been an issue for me since I was in my 30s, but has gotten worse as time goes on (I'm now 51). I drink tons of water before, during, and after, as well as mixing in some G2 during (I sweat like crazy, so I have to hydrate), but nothing seems to help. I also run/workout on a daily basis (sometimes two times a day), as well as hike & yoga, so its not a fitness issue.

I am asthmatic, and have been remiss in taking my meds the last few years, so maybe its a lack of oxygen thing. But, I'm too lazy to go to the doctor's office to get my prescription refilled...it would take time away from my workouts...
 

Nacho

Hall of Fame
When I was younger, my history of growing up in New Orleans and playing marathon 5 setters against my twin brother gave me tremendous endurance and usually a significant competitive advantage in the summer heat. It seems that as I push further north of 50, I no longer have this advantage. The first real wave of heat just hit the southeast US, and I was drained after the first 60 minutes.

I do think my heat tolerance will improve somewhat after I've had a chance to play in the heat a few times, and perhaps even more if I do my mountain biking closer to the heat of the day. (I prefer cooler mornings and evenings.) I can also do a better job with the electrolytes and possibly blood sugar, though my hydration has already been very good. But I doubt it will ever return to what it was in my 40s.

Other challenges of the summer heat are the speed of the courts, lower resistance on the ball, and the propensity for my slice BHs and flat FHs to sail long when I attempt any pace at all. I love the slower, winter courts when I can smack the ball hard and it lands deep in the court rather than sailing long.

So, what are y'all's experiences with aging and heat tolerance? Other challenges of hot weather?
Don't see it as an aging issue, but more of an exposure issue. When I was younger I was "used" to being out in the heat. I drank plenty of water, no alcohol, and got plenty of sleep. It was a different life...Now? I work all day, sit in air-conditioning, and then occasionally try to venture out there in the heat...Just takes awhile to get used to it...Nowadays I have to be more conscience of what I eat and drink, but the conditions are relative.
 

catfish

Professional
When I turned about 50 I noticed that playing in extreme heat was much harder on me and it took me longer to recover after playing in the heat. I do whatever I can to take care of myself when it's really hot and humid. I sit on changeovers. I bring an ice pack and put it on my head or neck on changeovers. Coconut water and energy gel help quite a bit. I drink a lot of water all the time, but I drink extra water before and after I play in the heat.
 

EllieK

Hall of Fame
I don't Play tennis, but I'm a runner. I definitely found that I didn't tolerate heat as well when I got older. I tend to only race now in spring and fall and skip the summer races. I run in the early morning and on the treadmill instead.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
Moved to Georgia full time at age 43 after living in the northeastern US (PA, NJ, DE) my whole life. The first summer here was very "mild" by all accounts and in comparison to summers since. Acclimation for me to the heat was therefore quite gentle - what DID happen though was that I QUICKLY lost my Yankee cold tolerance. Now the cold is much less tolerable to me than the heat.

With that said, as I'm staring at 50, I have noticed the heat is beating me up a bit more these past few weeks, but it seems to be easing up as I'm getting used to it - it was a long, cool, wet fall and winter here in GA. I've also put away the heavier weight wicking shirts I use for fall and winter and am wearing the summer weigrht weight wicking stuff now. I play in 100% wicking gear, including my hat, skivvies, and socks... the only non wicking clothing I wear is a pair of double length wrist bands. If you're not playing in wicking gear (and underwear), fix that first, imo. After that, start to take your hydration seriously - if you're not peeing, you're not hydrated enough.

So I guess you could say this was the first time I really felt the heat wearing on me, but it was a short lived thing that I think had more to do with the relatively long cool winter in the region than it has to do with my age... that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
I am 40 and I don't feel the heat is as much of a problem as my back just stiffening up. I can stay out and hit for 4+ hours, and never feel heat exhausted in a too much heat sense. But I now get the back pains and loss of ROM as a session progresses, and when I first started my legs felt dead after two hours. The back issue is the worst, because I feel just as I am getting warmed up my looseness and freedom of movement takes a dive. Everything is weird right now, anyway. My vertical jump using arm swing as been declining, while my vertical jump with hands on my hips has been increasing, and that makes little sense to me.
Welcome to your 40s man. Trust me, it doesn’t get better. You just have to play around it or through it. But rest assured it’s the “new normal”. There is a reason the USTA has a 40+ league and not a 30+ league. It all starts at 40.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Welcome to your 40s man. Trust me, it doesn’t get better. You just have to play around it or through it. But rest assured it’s the “new normal”. There is a reason the USTA has a 40+ league and not a 30+ league. It all starts at 40.
Seen a few old men turn blue.
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
I love it when people complain about the elements, especially heat. Figure I'm in better shape than most of the people I'm playing so it's gonna bother them more than me.
 

catfish

Professional
Moved to Georgia full time at age 43 after living in the northeastern US (PA, NJ, DE) my whole life. The first summer here was very "mild" by all accounts and in comparison to summers since. Acclimation for me to the heat was therefore quite gentle - what DID happen though was that I QUICKLY lost my Yankee cold tolerance. Now the cold is much less tolerable to me than the heat.
I grew up in south GA. The state tournament in Macon in July is delightful. ;) I still live in the south, but not GA. South GA humidity is awful. You get somewhat used to it, but even young people in the best shape can have heat stroke in those conditions. I'm sure Florida, South AL, MS, LA and TX are similar.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I love it when people complain about the elements, especially heat. Figure I'm in better shape than most of the people I'm playing so it's gonna bother them more than me.
Yup ..... let my opponents complain away .... same thing about "its so windy". I have come to love playing in the wind. Not because it is so wonderful (its not) but because I can adapt (low slice, safe margins) and they can't, all they do is get frustrated.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I appreciate the insightful feedback. It has been helpful developing my plan which is thus:

1. Shift most of my bike riding to hotter times. Cut back length as needed to gradually acclimate to the heat.
2. Delay tournament entry until at least late June, where there is an opportunity where the first rounds are in the evenings on well shaded courts.
3. Delay tournament entry where mid day and full sun are likely until July when my body should have had ample opportunity to acclimate.
4. If bike riding and informal play doesn't show that I've acclimated to the heat, sit out formal events in the heat of summer and wait for cooler weather.
 

GatorTennis

Rookie
I found the secret to dealing with the heat, but I won't tell you.

I'll simply say, make sure you get proper annual health exams, and you should find the issue.
 

R1FF

Professional
I absolutely love the heat.

I cannot say there is anything I do to make myself better in the heat than most. I just naturally love sports in 90-108 degree weather.

Hydration is obviously key. As is proper sodium in your diet. But good luck getting control of either of those if you're eating the standard american diet. If you are eating carb heavy, your body is naturally going to retain water, you're not going to sweat the way the body naturally is meant too, and it will be a struggle to build a cardio base to work from.

I turned the clock back 20 years by getting my nutrition on track. I'd aim there if I were you and serious about improving physical performance. Everything else is sorta pissing in the wind.
 

c-had

Rookie
When I was younger, my history of growing up in New Orleans and playing marathon 5 setters against my twin brother gave me tremendous endurance and usually a significant competitive advantage in the summer heat. It seems that as I push further north of 50, I no longer have this advantage. The first real wave of heat just hit the southeast US, and I was drained after the first 60 minutes.

I do think my heat tolerance will improve somewhat after I've had a chance to play in the heat a few times, and perhaps even more if I do my mountain biking closer to the heat of the day. (I prefer cooler mornings and evenings.) I can also do a better job with the electrolytes and possibly blood sugar, though my hydration has already been very good. But I doubt it will ever return to what it was in my 40s.

Other challenges of the summer heat are the speed of the courts, lower resistance on the ball, and the propensity for my slice BHs and flat FHs to sail long when I attempt any pace at all. I love the slower, winter courts when I can smack the ball hard and it lands deep in the court rather than sailing long.

So, what are y'all's experiences with aging and heat tolerance? Other challenges of hot weather?
I'm with you. I also grew up around New Orleans (Slidell) and played through the summer heat without complaining. Now I'm 40 and live in Maryland. I played a singles match in the upper 80s last week and was dying in the second set.

Up here in Maryland, winter court conditions are different though, as we mostly play indoors with fast conditions. So, usually when we go outside in April, conditions are much slower than they were through the winter. Then they speed back up over the next few months as the temperature rises.
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
I am 53 and I find I am better conditioned to play in the heat now than I was 20 years ago. I sweat more somehow. I wasn't as sweaty when I was younger. Because of that, I need to drink more than I use to and I find that electrolytes are mandatory for more than 2 hours of playing in hot weather.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I am 53 and I find I am better conditioned to play in the heat now than I was 20 years ago. I sweat more somehow. I wasn't as sweaty when I was younger. Because of that, I need to drink more than I use to and I find that electrolytes are mandatory for more than 2 hours of playing in hot weather.
Not too worried about heat this year. Plus, spend at least 30 minutes in-line waiting with old men to use the trough between sets.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
We hit 100 degrees today and will be up to 107 degrees by the weekend.

Yeah...drink lots of water and play early or late in the day!

Meanwhile...watching a match during the day in Arizona be like....

 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
We hit 100 degrees today and will be up to 107 degrees by the weekend.

Yeah...drink lots of water and play early or late in the day!

Meanwhile...watching a match during the day in Arizona be like....

Yup. We crossed 100 yesterday and again today ... but only 104 on Saturday. I have 2 matches ... one at 7:30am and a 2nd at 2pm. The later one will be a test for certain.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
Yup. We crossed 100 yesterday and again today ... but only 104 on Saturday. I have 2 matches ... one at 7:30am and a 2nd at 2pm. The later one will be a test for certain.
a cold shower is always nice way to cool off :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Dimcorner

Professional
I'm 43 and grew up in Puerto Rico and Miami. I love playing in heat just because I'm very certain I will outlast the other person.
I also make it a point to make sure they run more than me. I have kept the point going on a little longer just to get the other person to run more.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Well, have just been getting back to working out and training the last few weeks and already going to have to change my time in the day. Was just out and 5 mintues of HIIT bleacher sprints, some footwork drills on the track for another 5 minutes, and some interval light jog and walking the track to cool down for another 10 minutes. Was feeling VERy parched and it felt very hot, so when I came in for a quick circuit I checked...107 degrees! I finished and cleaned up, but I am sitting in my office 30 minutes later and still sweating and red faced. Pounding water and threw down some cold mango and cottage cheese. That is refreshing and helping rcoup.
 

Robert F

Professional
Age does reduce heat tolerance. So progress slowly when you start to train outdoors.
Also those that have suffered a heat injury seem to be at risk for them again. So avoid a heat injury in the first place--hydration, rest and other suggestions made above.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm 43 and grew up in Puerto Rico and Miami. I love playing in heat just because I'm very certain I will outlast the other person.
I also make it a point to make sure they run more than me. I have kept the point going on a little longer just to get the other person to run more.
What if you play someone from Ecuador?
 
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