Summer is here and many of us are looking forward to enjoying an outdoor workout, be it on the beach or elsewhere... But are we really aware of the dangers of the sun? Sport and heat do not always mix. Many precautions are needed! How can the athlete adapt? Domyos gives you the rules for working out in the sun.
Every year, we impatiently await terrific weather to put on our trainers and enjoy the great outdoors. But we are sometimes far from imagining the dangers that the sun has in store for us. You have to be extremely careful when working out in the sun. Discover the rules.
Getting ready for exertion
Workouts should take place in the early morning, or at the end of the day
Don't let children perform a physical activity in the blazing heat (except for swimming): younger children are more exposed to the risk of dehydration. The same applies to people over 65 or with a condition.
The right outfit?
Go for a light workout outfit, baggy and breathable. Choose fabrics that easily wick away perspiration. Avoid dark colours (black absorbs the sun's rays). Wet your cap and wear sun glasses. Apply a sunscreen to protect your skin (high factor).
Advice during exertion
Watch out for dehydration
It is a significant danger, which may impair the health of the athlete. When we train, we lose water for 3 reasons:
contracting muscles produce heat
the body sweats during intense exertion, it loses water but also salt
the hot air and the sun up high make body temperature go up
Be careful when it's very hot. When the sun is blazing, you are increasing the risk of dehydration. Performance is guaranteed to be affected! Remember this: losing 1% of your water weight is equivalent to losing 10% of your strength. One single watchword: drink water to avoid heat stroke! And with salt: for a 500 ml beverage, add one pinch of salt for every 10 ° of temperature; (eg: it's 30 ° C so add 3 pinches of salt per 500 ml). You have to drink before your feel thirsty, as soon as you start working out, often and in small mouthfuls. Never drink iced water: you'll avoid tummy troubles...
Cool down regularly
Working out in the heat, you need to think about cooling off. Surroundings permitting, stay in the shade as much as possible. From time to time, splash your face, spray your neck and your forehead with water.
Prevention is better than cure
Reduce the intensity of the effort. Do not wait for the first signs of weakness to appear to stop training. Heat stroke is never far off, along with possible complications which may be serious. At the first sign of dizziness or headache, stop your workout. Put yourself immediately in the shade and spray yourself with water.
After the workout
Once your workout complete, don’t run the risk of a heat shock: there's no need to run to the shower to bring down your body temperature! Wait for your body to cool down. Sit down in the shade for a bit, in a spot with plenty of air. Similarly, wait at least an hour before exposing yourself to heat again. A cool break won't hurt!