Health & Wellness Guidelines
We have a Health & Wellness Program that engages medical personnel (MD’s, RN’s. EMT’s), physical therapists, mental health professionals, and sports trainers to ensure that you are in the best health possible to achieve at the highest level.
The goal of the Health & Wellness program is to:
- Evaluate members to compile a more complete medical history and information
- Development of physical training protocols for Injury Prevention
- Increase staff education
- On-site care for members as needed
- Setting up a health/wellness station
- Communication with Blue Devils staff on research, articles, concerns and information
- Development of a written Physical Training protocol / process and research applying to all sections
The following guidelines have been developed in order for you to have a healthy, happy and safe summer. Read them carefully. Remember, if you get sick due to not taking care of your self you will be hurting the corps as well as yourself. While some sickness is unavoidable, much unnecessary sickness is – if you follow these guidelines.
- Daily: bathe/shower, use deodorant, brush teeth
- Wash hands with soap and water after using the restroom and always before eating.
- We will supply water and cups for the breaks. It is recommended that you provide a small canteen-type container to wear on your person to take an unofficial water break when there is not an official water break.
- Use sunscreen as needed and often enough to be effective.
- Wear light weight, loose, well ventilated, light colored cotton shirts/blouses to protect from sun. This is imperative if you are already burned.
- Wear something on your head to protect your head, face, neck and lips from the sun. This can be a hat with a bill, bandana, t-shirt, towel or wet wash cloth.
- Shoes must be worn at all times – no bare feet outside of the building or off the bus.
- Sleep when you have the opportunity. Take advantage of bus time and breaks.
- Eat wisely: several light meals, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Increase your fluids, especially water. Avoid excessive sugar and junk foods. Thank the cooks daily for the good care they provide.
- If you have any type of chronic condition, e.g. joint or muscle injury or weakness, discuss your participation in this activity with your doctor. Ask your doctor to write out the regimen you should follow – medications, wraps, braces, hot/cold packs, etc. Bring your own braces, wraps, etc.
- If you have an allergy to bee stings or to other things you may not be able to avoid, contact your doctor for a kit to be used in case of an allergic reaction. Learn to use the items in the kit.
- Get a little sun as soon as the weather permits. Don’t wait until the first warm camp weekend to expose your skin. Try to tan gradually.
- Drum corps is a physical activity. Workout between camps. The more physically fit you are, the less likely you are to get injured.
- Skin surfaces which rub against other skin surfaces often create chafing. A medicated body powder or corn starch is a useful item for you to pack.
- You should be urinating at least 3-4 times each 24-hour period. If you are not, possibly you are not taking in enough fluids. Urinary infections often develop at this time.
- Be smart when you are away from the corps as well. Don’t do things that jeopardize your body and health.
- First aid kits are located on each bus, if you have the need for headache or cold remedies, bandages, stomach aches, bug bites, laxatives, ice packs, feminine products, etc.
Males should maintain between 12% and 16% body fat, and females 16% - 22%. If you are above, the safe way to bring it down is by increasing aerobic activity and MODIFYING your diet (by the way, diet means food you eat, not lack thereof!).
Aerobic activity is any exercise that will get your heart rate up between 60% and 80% of your safe maximum heart rate and keeping it there for at least 30 minutes (NOT including warm-up and cool-down time). Check your pulse during exercise and maintain this level. Exercise AT LEAST three times a week.
Maximum heart rate formula: 220 - age = MHR
Aerobic exercise range: MHR - .6 and MHR - .8 = PULSE RANGE
Exercising at more than 80% will not burn more calories. In fact, you will burn LESS, because your body cannot get enough of the oxygen needed to burn fat. (As with any fire, you cut off the oxygen and it goes out!) What you do instead is put your body into a panic mode. It begins to grab the most readily available source of energy, which is simple sugar, from within the muscle. It breaks the sugar down, sending it into the blood stream to boost energy. What is left behind in the muscle is the by-product of sugar – LACTIC ACID (you know, the stuff that makes us sore!). Because there is now sugar in the blood stream, our appetite is increased as well. So, in this case, more is not necessarily better.
If you exercise properly (aerobically), you will be able to go longer with less soreness, AND you will experience less appetite for as long as 2 hours afterwards, not to mention less stress and an improved attitude!
Now, back to your diet. Modify by increasing fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. These will give you energy, and the calories will be burned easier (the body burns these first, fats second). Cut down on fats (contained in meats and dairy products) and sugars. Get away from junk food as a staple meal item. (I’m not saying give them up entirely – we’re all human – just consume in MODERATION!) Drink plenty of fluids, but try to stay away from soda pop before rehearsals. They contain CO which conflicts with the oxygen that your body needs for maximum performance.
On a final note, avoid weighing yourself. Muscle weighs more than fat; and as you exercise, you increase muscle which will make you appear to have lost little or no weight. This only discourages you. Your best guide is 1) how you FEEL, 2) how you LOOK (are your measurements smaller?), and 3) how you PERFORM (have you increased your stamina and endurance?).
The body responds to heat by dilating the blood vessels in the skin and increasing the heartbeat. The body loses heat by conduction and convection which is caused by the cooling effect of air flowing next to the skin, radiation of heat to surrounding objects which come in contact with the skin, and evaporation of sweat. Excess sweating, however, causes loss of salt and water from the body fluids, which creates an increased workload on the circulatory system.
Physical work increases the effects of high temperature on the body. Other conditions make people more vulnerable to heat injury; at high risk are persons with:
- acute & chronic infections
- heat rash
- lack of sleep
- feverish conditions
- acute sunburn fatigue
- vascular disease
- reactions to immunizations
- previous heatstroke
- use of alcohol
- obesity (a very common contributing factor in heat injuries)
There are three types of heat injuries – heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke:
Heat Cramps – Caused by excessive loss of salt from the body
Symptoms: Painful cramps in muscles of the extremities and abdominal wall. Body temperature is normal.
Treatment: Have the person drink a 0.1 % salt solution (mix 2 ten grain salt tablets or 1 tsp. salt in 1 quart of water).
Heat Exhaustion – Caused by excessive loss of water and salt
Symptoms: Profuse perspiration, skin is cool and pale, rapid pulse (140-200 beats per minute), low blood pressure, headache, mental confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, visual disturbance, occasional cramps of extremities or abdominal muscles.
Treatment: Put in a cool place, encourage the individual to rest, elevate the feet, massage the extremities. Give a 0.1% saline solution by mouth as freely as the patient will take it. DO NOT ADMINISTER SALT TABLETS WITHOUT WATER.
Heat Stroke – Caused by a breakdown of the body’s heat regulating mechanism. A very serious condition in which there is extremely high body temperature – can lead to coma or death.
Risk: Persons not acclimatized to heat; physical exertion; alcoholism; diarrhea.
Symptoms: Absence of sweating, cool skin surface, headache, dizziness, mental confusion, weakness, nausea, urination. Early stages are characterized by hot, red, dry skin; full and rapid pulse; normal or elevated blood pressure; rapid and deep respiration; body temperature 106-110F. The onset is usually dramatic with collapse and loss of consciousness. Convulsions may occur.
Treatment: Lower the body temperature by removing clothes, immersing the patient in water (or in a tub of water and ice), give a sponge bath, or cover with a blanket soaked in cold water. Fan the patient to increase air flow. Rub the extremities and trunk briskly to increase skin circulation. Check temperature every 10 minutes – be careful not to lower temperature. Constant supervision and transport to a medical facility IMMEDIATELY.