The return of warm weather is the perfect time to start up your favorite sports again. Here are some tips to help you play with fewer risks, and more fun!
1. Dress properly.
Choose your sportswear carefully (including shoes) to avoid injury, play comfortably and perform better.1
Whenever you practice, ditch the old T-shirt for appropriate and comfortable clothing. For example, avoid cotton that doesn’t breathe. Opt instead for synthetic fabrics and merino wool that whisk away sweat. Also, light-colored fabrics absorb less heat from the sun.
2. Warm up.
Warming muscles up before training or doing physical activity is essential to avoid injury. This increases body heat (which improves coordination and speed), heart rate and blood flow (which pumps more blood and oxygen into muscles), and lubricates joints (proven to lower injury rate). Always make room for a proper warm-up.
3. Remember to hydrate.
During exercise, especially when it’s hot, you lose a lot of water—1 to 3 litres per hour from sweating. To avoid cramps and dehydration, you must rehydrate regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Ideally, drink 150 to 350 ml of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Consume a sports drink if you keep exercising for more than an hour to feed your cells with carbohydrates and replenish sodium levels. Don’t forget to drink water both before and after training.
4. Protect yourself from the sun.
Whenever you’re in the sun, put on sunscreen to protect against UV rays. There are formulas made specifically for active people. Don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist if you have any questions regarding sun protection. And wear a light-colored hat to avoid sunstroke.
5. Prevent heat stroke.
Heat stroke happens when the body cannot cool itself sufficiently and body temperature rises. It can be fatal if not treated quickly. Fortunately, you can avoid it by following the steps listed above, and by avoiding exercising during peak temperature times (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.), as well as lowering intensity of activity in extreme heat, and periodically dowsing your face and body with cool water.
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