Temperatures are soaring in the last week of June, with heat peaks of up to 35 degrees. A heat wave that questions many athletes: can we play sports in case of high heat? The answer is yes, but not under any conditions! I give you my 5 tips to move in the summer without taking any risks.
I am the first to take advantage of the summer to multiply the outdoor sessions. But when the mercury panics, a few precautions are necessary! I don’t want to put my health at risk, I’m adjusting my sports routine to train safely.
Warmth: Stay hydrated, the Golden Rule
No matter the season, proper hydration is essential to compensate for the mineral losses associated with perspiration. But this is all the more important in the summer when our body is forced to adapt to the hot weather.
I explain: the human being is homeothermic, that is, he needs to keep his body at a constant temperature to function well (around 37oC). When you’re playing sports in the middle of summer, the organization redoubles its efforts to regulate itself and sweats more than usual to cool off.
In fact, perspiration acts a bit like our internal fan. If we did not sweat, we would risk hyperthermia, that is, hot and fainting. Therefore, you should drink before, during and after the exercise to avoid dehydration and compensate for the water loss.
Don’t hesitate to spray your face with water (not to mention the nape of the neck) to create a feeling of freshness and bring down the temperature.
What do I drink?
I advise you to drink water from the first 10 minutes of training. Then every 5 minutes or so, without waiting to be thirsty and in small sips so as not to jostle your stomach. If you are splitting, drink at the beginning of the recovery phase, to give your body time to ingest it without choking.
Always leave with a small reserve: a bottle, a bottle… To avoid clutter, there are also bottle belts or backpacks with straw (the “camel bag”). But these solutions are intended for seasoned athletes, who go to train for more than 1 hour and who need to carry several liters of water.
If this is your case, a drink of effort can also be not bad. It will offset salt and sugar losses and help you maintain your rhythm. On the other hand, forget the sugary commercial drinks and opt instead for a homemade recipe that is super simple to make: 1/3 organic grape juice and 1/2 teaspoon of iodized salt in 1 litre of water. My lifelong favorite recipe!
Choosing the Right Time and Place
Going jogging at 2pm when the sun is at its zenith, is clearly not a good idea. In case of heat spikes, I recommend you adapt your sports routine and organize yourself differently. Take advantage of the cool hours and the sun that plays overtime to train early in the morning between 6am and 10am or in the evening from 7pm. To give you a marker, you should not train when it is more than 28oC.
For athletes who are very used to training, intense sport even in high heat will make cardio work more. So this increases the VO2 Max, and it’s pretty beneficial in the long run. But again: only if you are used to doing crazy split, intense effort, if you have the approval of your treating physician.
Personally I don’t. But I respect those who do and I’m not saying in my air-conditioned car “ha no but people, they do anything they’re going to kill themselves in sports in this heat”. No, if they are experienced athletes, they know what they are doing. Let’s stop judging all the time without knowing!
You can’t change your schedule and the outdoor sessions don’t tempt you? So focus on indoor sessions. I know, it’s frustrating to go locked up when the weather is nice, but there’s less chance of heat. In the gym (they have reopened, so we enjoy it!), at home, in a municipal swimming pool … Wherever you want as long as the temperature is pleasant and temperate.
On the other hand, watch out for the air conditioning that blows to block! Moving abruptly from very hot to very cold is not good either.