Temperatures are rising, making it harder and harder to safely stay active. It’s important to move your body, but you don’t want to get heatstroke. You don’t want to sacrifice your time outside playing your favorite sport to the heat, and with the proper safety precautions, you can safely play sports in the heat.
Here are some of our top tips for how you can safely play sports in the heat so that you can stay healthy and happy and still enjoy your outdoor court. Let’s get into it!
How Heat Impacts Your Body
In order to safely play sports in the heat, you want to be able to understand the dangers high temperatures pose to your health. Part of how you can determine whether or not it’s safe to play sports in the heat is looking at the heat index and whether or not it is too hot. Heat can be very dangerous, especially when you’re playing sports.
Some of the ways heat impacts your body include:
- Sweat evaporates very quickly, making it harder to recognize how much water your body has lost.
- Higher humidity makes sweating less effective at cooling your body down.
- Exercising in the heat puts extra stress on your body and can result in serious illness.
- Your body temperature can increase as your body tries to cool itself down due to exercise and high temperatures.
- If your body isn’t able to keep itself cool, this puts you at risk for heat-related illnesses, such as: heat cramps, heat syncope, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. These can necessitate immediate medical attention in order to prevent serious consequences such as organ failure and even death.
How To Safely Play Sports In The Heat
With the proper precautions, you can keep yourself protected and able to safely play sports in the heat. Knowledge is everything when it comes to staying healthy in high temperatures, especially if you’re going to be playing sports. Here are some of the ways you can safely play sports in the heat.
#1. Watch The Weather
As mentioned before, you want to keep an eye on the heat index. While you can safely play sports in the heat, that’s only to a certain extent. There is such a thing as being too hot to safely exercise or to exercise for long. If temperatures and/or humidity levels are high, you’ll want to take it easy out there. A normal workout on a temperate day could be extremely dangerous on a hot and/or humid day.
#2. Get Acclimated
If you aren’t accustomed to high temperatures, you’ll want to acclimate your body to it. This means that you start out gradually and slowly build up the amount of time that you’re playing in the sun.
#3. Stay Hydrated
In order to safely play sports in the heat, you need to keep your body hydrated. You sweat normally when it’s hot out and you sweat normally when you work your body hard. Combined, this makes it very easy for your body to get dehydrated. Ensure that you begin hydrating hours before hitting the sports courts and that you continue to hydrate throughout the activity. Water is better than sugary sports drinks for hydration.
#4. Avoid Playing During The Heat Of The Day
The best way to safely play sports in the heat is to avoid playing when it’s the hottest time of day. You should stick to early morning and late evening practices and games to minimize your chances of heat illnesses and injuries.
#5. Dress In Cool Clothing
Another way you can strive to safely play sports in the heat is to dress appropriately. Light-colored clothing is cooler than dark colors because it won’t absorb heat. The lighter weight the material, the better. You also want to opt for sweat-wicking clothes that will help keep your body temperature down.
#6. Take Plenty Of Breaks
You want to push yourself in your workouts, but when it’s hot out, you need to ensure that you take plenty of breaks so that you don’t push your body too hard. If you feel like you need to rest, rest. If you feel dizzy or fatigued at all, get out of the heat.
#7. Watch For Signs Of Heat Illness
One of the most important things you can do to safely play sports in the heat is to both be aware of and to watch for the signs of heat illness so that you know when you’ve gone too far and should seek treatment.
Some of the signs of heat illness include:
- Heat cramps
Utah Court Surfacing makes it easier to play sports in the heat with our quality sports courts. When you have a sport court in your own backyard, it makes it easy to step inside for some shade and a glass of water, and allows you to play during the cooler hours of the day. Contact us to learn more about our sport court surfacing services.