The first heat wave is already in Europe and in several areas of North America. With signs that the summer is going to be quite harsh, we ask ourselves if you can play sports in the heat and, if so, how hot, at what maximum temperature is it acceptable to go out to play sports and from what temperatures is it highly inadvisable.

First of all, when referring to the heat wave, it must be remembered that for each country and each continent this concept refers to a certain temperature, so it is not very indicative and quite relative. Playing sports in the heat can be 32 degrees in the United Kingdom and 40 degrees in Spain. So this value is invalid.

Faced with such temperatures, organisms always warn: take care of populations at risk. So that’s the first piece of advice, if you are old or very young, have some kind of circulatory problem or the heat affects your blood pressure a lot, doing sports in the heat is more risky.

In any other case, it is not totally discouraged and, in fact, the absence of rain encourages a multitude of athletes to go out to play sports in the heat.

But there are some facts that must be known if you decide to play sports in the heat: firstly, the loss of fluids increases significantly. It is estimated that doing sports in the heat causes you to lose between 2 and 4 liters more fluid through sweating: so the first piece of advice if you decide to go out in the sun is that you have to hydrate well and constantly, more than usual, and that you cannot even wait until you are thirsty to ingest some liquid. You also have to choose your food well.

The second piece of advice is to guide the body in this new context of high temperatures. As? Well, the body also reads the context, but the most risky for any body are sudden changes of any kind, so you should ride your bike even if the thermometer exceeds 30 degrees Celsius or 35 degrees Celsius, but at least the first few days, the first week, the rhythm and time must be reduced, and the exercise must be sequential and progressive, to acclimatize the body.

In fact, playing sports in the heat can be quite similar to those acclimatizations that elite athletes carry out as a preparatory phase for some tests.

Therefore, the maximum temperature that is not recommended to do sports in the heat is over 38ºC. At more or less this temperature, it is advisable to look for another phase of the day with a lower temperature, train indoors or suspend training.

In any case, if you decide to play sports with heat above that temperature, dehydration, possible muscle cramps and even discomfort or headache must be considered.

The vasodilation that heat causes in the body worsens circulation, so these problems can appear more easily. In summary, at temperatures above 35ºC, doing sports in the heat is possible if it is not a risk group and if precautions are taken to do it progressively and with regular hydration.