the dangers, good practices… What you need to know when exercising in hot weather

France is suffocating. While the heat peak is expected from Friday to Saturday, 23 departments of France have already been placed in orange “heat wave” vigilance on Wednesday, June 15. “A very intense and early wave, lasting at least five days”, will settle in the territory indicated Météo France, with temperatures up to “35 and 40°C at three quarters” out of the country.

In this context, the practice of physical activity is not recommended by specialists. “Cardiologists recommend not having any intense physical activity above 30 degrees”, underlines Roland Krzentowski, sports doctor, in a video on prevention with the strong heat published by the Ministry of Sports on Tuesday. “In absolute terms should be avoided, confirms Emmanuel Debost, sports doctor in Plombières-lès-Dijon (Côte-d’Or), except for swimming or exercising in air-conditioned rooms.

Dehydration is one of the biggest dangers. Forgetting to drink enough water while exercising in the heat slows sweating, a process essential for the body’s natural cooling. From that moment on, the body experiences hyperthermia, or an increase in body temperature. “This can cause hydroelectric disturbances, i.e. electrical disturbances in the heart, or in the kidneys, for example. There is a danger of causing cardiac arrest,” continues Emmanuel Debost.

Skin burns are another risk. “We have more and more pay attention to the specialistThese are people who don’t wear hats, who run shirtless, and with relative wind they feel they can withstand the heat, but when they stop there can be sunstroke and burns which are sometimes very significant.”QRegardless of age, the risks are significant”precisely Emmanuel Debost.

The risks are lower for top athletes. “A trained, prepared and controlled body is less likely to feel unwell, even if it…That doesn’t mean it won’t happen explains Stéphane Diagana, world champion in the 400m hurdles in 1997Especially since athletes are used to preparing for competitions in such weather conditions.

“The more you train under these conditions, the more the body will be able to find ways to avoid or mitigate the risks, or delay their arrival.”

Stéphane Diagana, world champion in the 400 meters hurdles

at franceinfo: sports

Athletes often train at high heat for competitions where such temperatures are expected. “This is done in thermal chambers, in which one can train to observe how the body evolves, but also to secure and optimize the exercise”details Stephane Diagana. Preparation does not prevent certain failures in extreme conditions, such as that of Frenchman Yohann Diniz during the 50 km walk at the World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019. Thirteen other athletes had given up on this event where the thermometer still reached 32 degrees at 11 30 hour

If you still want to exercise during a heat wave, some advice applies: hydrate generously, choose training moments where the temperatures are lower, exercise in the shade, for less time and less intense. † Finally, you should protect your head and body with light and loose clothing.

A good recovery is also essential. “After the exercise, it is necessary to warm up the body, by shading yourself and taking a lukewarm shower at least 30 minutes after the end of the effort to reduce the risk oflow bloodpressure”, supports Emmanuel Debost. “Recovery times are longer if the dehydration is deep and if you’ve pulled a lot,” adds Stéphane Diagana. And the former athlete remembers that a dehydrated body “doesn’t rehydrate in one or two hours”.