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Exercising in hot weather: Knowing how to protect yourself

On July 8, 2020

While it is perfectly normal to want to enjoy summer and stay in shape, it is necessary to pay attention to heat strokes, even outside periods of extreme heat. Here are a few tips.


Can I practise sports in hot weather?

According to kinesiologist Karine Larose, it is possible to exercise in hot weather, but not without preparation. By contrast, Health Canada warns that you are at risk of discomfort and complication if you suffer from:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Heart conditions
  • Mental illness
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney problems

Take the time to consult your doctor to know if you can exercise in hot weather.

 

Staying hydrated

Stay well hydrated by drinking a lot of water. Drink two large glasses of water (500 ml) two hours before the activity. During exercise, drink at least 125 ml of water every fifteen minutes and ensures to spray your face and neck with water to keep you cool.

Lastly, drink a minimum of 500 ml of water after exercising to make up for the water lost during the activity.

 

Healthy eating

If your health situation allows you to train, the first thing to know is that eating well before, during and after physical activity is an absolute necessity. By eating well, we mean having an adequate supply of carbohydrates to compensate for the extra energy burned during physical efforts in hot weather.

The day before, consume about 10 g of carbohydrate per kg of weight and on the same day, eat a meal that is rich in carbohydrates a few hours before the physical activity, such as wholegrain pasta, for example.

During physical activity, eat approximately 1 g of carbohydrates per kg of weight for each hour of activity, for example, two Power Cookies per hour.

After the physical activity, enjoy a glass of chocolate milk or a handful of trail mix to refuel and replenish.

Other tips and tricks

If possible, avoid exercising between 10 am and 3 pm - this is the hottest period of the day.

In addition to your water bottle and other items, plan wearing breathable clothing, a hat or a cap, as well as sunglasses and sunscreen.

Also note that your body will need to adjust itself to the new ambient temperature during the first two weeks of summer heat; be aware of physical signs and be gentle on yourself, especially at the beginning. Don't hesitate to practise a different activity to reduce physical efforts if needed.

Outside of heat waves, there are no contraindication to train in hot weather, provided you are well prepared and well protected. Yes – physical activity helps maintain good physical and mental health!


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