Take Care of Your Body If You Have to Play Basketball In Extreme Heat
When you play basketball you do put your body to a lot of strain and effort and this in itself can lead to an increase in your pulse rate, your breathing, and the temperature of your body and make you sweat. This sweating can increase just that much more when you play basketball in the summer conditions of extreme heat, as Basketball Hoops Ireland explains.
If you are young, your sweat glands will not be as well developed as those of adults and this can cause the natural cooling of the body, that sweat is meant to do, from functioning as efficiently as it should. The extreme heat can then cause heat illness, that in athletes can be a matter of real concern. Even if you are older, playing basketball in the extreme heat of summer, and in the open where you may also have the sun beating down on you can cause problems.
How then can you beat the heat, and still indulge yourself in your favourite sport in the extreme heat? You can do so by taking a few steps that will help to prevent heat injury. You need to see that your body is properly hydrated, and do so much before you go out on the court. See that you drink plenty of water much ahead of the time you are planning to play, and keep away from any sports drinks, especially ones that contain sugar. Of course, sports drinks can be of help if your basketball game lasts more than an hour.
Sunburn can be a heat-related injury when you play out in the sun. Protect yourself with a sunscreen lotion that has an SPF of 30 or more before you go out on the basketball court. See that the product that you use is water-resistant as it will work better on your sweaty skin, that playing in the sun is bound to cause as you play. Apply the sunscreen well before you plan to start playing, probably at least half an hour before.
Coaches and team managers who organize these court events must take care to see that their players avoid the hottest time of the day, the afternoons. If you do have to practice or play basketball in summer, make it a point to play early in the morning or late in the afternoons, or cooler evenings. Heat illness can also be affected by humidity, sun angle, cloud cover, and of course the temperature. When this factor, WBGT, is high you must give yourself at least 15 minutes of rest every hour. Higher temperatures and humidity may even require you to restrict playing time to half an hour every hour or even to just 15-20 minutes an hour.
It is also important that if you are planning to play basketball in the extreme heat of summer, that you wear light-coloured clothing, that is also light-weight and offers you some protection from the sun. Get your body acclimatized to the heat by doing some gradual exercising that raises your body temperature, and always take care to rehydrate at every opportunity that you get, or if you feel hot and bothered.
Signs of heat exhaustion are headaches, dizziness fatigue, heat cramps, nausea, vomiting and irritability. Ask the coach to give you a break as soon as you feel any of these symptoms, as if they are left untreated they will cause heat strokes that can have serious consequences. As a coach or manager, if you notice any of these symptoms in one of your players, make him or her stop playing immediately. Get them to an environment that is cool and shaded. Fan the players or spray them with cool mists of water. Get them to stretch any muscles that are cramping. and most important of all, replace the fluids they have lost with just plain water.
If you are planning to play basketball in the summer, keep exercising every day for at least one hour, as the temperature gets warmer, even if you are not going out on the court. Changes in the body’s sweating mechanism will occur only after 10 days, so when you start going out to shoot the hoops in the heat of summer, your body’s sweating mechanisms must be working at their best.
It is best if you can avoid playing basketball when temperatures are higher than 80 degrees and humidity is at the same level.