Cheerleaders perform indoors and outdoors at football and basketball games, in a variety of weather conditions. It’s important for cheer team members and staff to consider the weather conditions when planning uniform body basics and accessories, and when packing an on-site sideline cheerleading bag. Cheerleaders stand on the football sidelines starting in late Summer and early Fall, when the weather is relatively cool. The football season extends through winter though, which leaves cheerleaders exposed to rain, snow and cold winds. Cheerleaders also support their basketball teams. Though this allows them to be indoors and not exposed to harsh seasonal temperatures, it does mean that they will be performing in a crowded, sometimes stuffy gym that can get very warm. If body temperature is not monitored, cheerleaders may become weak and exhausted. A cheerleader that is not at 100% for her performance puts everyone on the team at risk, especially if the team performs in groups that do stunts. Here are some tips for regulating and monitoring body temperature during performances in the heat and the cold: Clothing. Accessorize your cheerleading uniform with long sleeve bodysuits, warm up pants and jackets and other cold weather gear for the winter season. The clothing will insulate your body and keep heat from escaping. Logically, that means that uniforms for cheering in indoor, heated spaces should be lightweight and short-sleeved to allow sweat to escape the body and cool the skin. Hydrate! During physical activity like cheerleading routines, the human body loses hydration through sweating. Be sure to have water and sports drinks on hand during performances, and drink plenty of fluids. If you start feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrating. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink! Educate. Find out what heat stroke and heat stress are, and how to prevent it. Make sure that team members and parents know the signs of heat stroke. It’s also good to look into the effects of frostbite or extreme cold exposure. Know the signs, and know when it is time to bundle up or head indoors. Nutrition. Research what to eat and drink before a performance, how long before a performance you should eat and how much you should eat. Don’t forget about after performances too! Just because the game is over, doesn’t mean you are in the clear. Your body could suffer effects if you don’t replenish after a game. It’s a good idea to know what not to eat also. Consider the weather when choosing your meals too – to stay warm you may need a heavier, heartier meal, but if you will be in the heat you may want to eat something lighter. Treatment. If someone shows signs of fatigue, weakness, discoloration or any other signs of stress during a performance, make sure they stop all physical activity immediately and get checked out by the onsite paramedic. What are your tips for keeping a healthy body temperature for any weather condition?