Playing sports in hot weather? For all athletes, from professionals to “Sunday runners”, high temperatures are quite a discomfort. Can those who do not want to give up their daily training sessions, withstand the heat? What is the best time to exercise?


“The golden rule for any sport, at any level and in any weather, is drinking fluids. In the summer and in high temperatures, Africans who are experienced in training under the heat still: drink often, stop, catch their breath and end training with water and mineral salts” explains Dr. Piero Volpi, head of Orthopedics and Sports Traumatology of the Knee at Humanitas hospital.

Hydration is critical to the body’s water balance: you lose electrolytes involved in various biological functions, which must be replenished. In the summer – he continues – a fruit snack should also be eaten after physical activity. For some training sessions that require prolonged effort, from jogging to cycling to tennis, it is good to eat something during exercising, perhaps by resorting to supplements that also cover the glycemic component. ”

The problem with high temperatures is felt at every level of professional sports. How can we forget the World Cup USA final in 1994, played between Italy and Brazil in Los Angeles with temperatures rising above 35 degrees and high humidity? “The organization of these international competitions should take into account these factors. The heat and humidity do nothing but affect the performance of athletes. Even workouts, such as those for football teams, are scheduled early in the morning or at dusk,” says Dr. Volpi.

So if the professionals and athletes that are used to training in high temperatures take this many precautions, what should you be doing?

Any useful tips for those who participate in recreational sports?

“Of course. In days of hot weather, the best time to exercise before 9:00am or after 19:00pm, when the air is a bit cooler and the temperatures are lower.” Also, clothing is important, as it must be “breathable and not too tight, in order to allow the skin to breath.”

For those who participate in outdoor activities, a solution for anti-hot temperatures is to exercise in a sports facility. “Naturally, moving and running in an air-conditioned environment is quite different from doing it outdoors, however, we should not overlook the general rules of hydration, which are always more valid.”

An alternative can also be water sports, with attention to water temperature. A few days ago, the swimming champion Federica Pellegrini expressed on her Twitter profile her disappointment of the water temperature of the pool at which she trained: 30° C. “There is no doubt that this warm water cools, just think of how many people go to the pool during these days. However, water temperature must be just right, particularly for those athletes who “soak” in it many hours of the day. Even a few degrees more make a difference and forces the athletes to make a greater effort”, concludes the specialist.