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Sport and hot weather: how to train in a heatwave

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Sport and hot weather: how to train in a heatwave

With some extremely hot weather on the way, the Department of Health Affairs is keen to raise public awareness in the Principality about the associated health risks.

These include heatstroke and dehydration, and can vary depending on your age, level of activity and the sport you engage in. When the mercury hits 30 degrees or more, people are advised to refrain from physical activity so as to avoid exposure to heatstroke.

As the temperature rises, physical exertion requires your cardiovascular system to adapt in order to prevent dehydration.

It is important to follow some common sense rules and to listen to your body when engaging in any kind of sporting activity. During these periods of hot weather, we should reduce the intensity of our activity and focus on exercises that are gentler and less strenuous for our bodies, which are already under considerable stress from the heat.

Hydration is key

To prevent significant water loss while exercising during very hot weather, our main piece of advice is to hydrate BEFORE, DURING and AFTER your training session.

Getting ready to exercise

You should hydrate properly before a training session. It is important to drink regularly during the hours preceding exercise. It is recommended to drink between 400ml and 600ml of cold water (not iced) around 20 minutes before starting to exercise in the heat.

Clothing is important. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes that allow your skin to release as much heat as possible, and opt for light colours. Hats are also recommended. If you are exercising outside, don’t forget to use sun cream on your face and to wear sunglasses.

Good habits to adopt while exercising

First, it is important to acclimatise and to prepare your body for exertion in hot conditions. When it is hot, repeating exercises allows your body to adapt gradually, leaving it better able to cope with heat stress.

Try to exercise before 8 am in the morning or after 6 pm in the evening.