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Is Basketball Better Played in Hot or Cold Weather?

By Kevin Belhumeur

Basketball in the Heat

When basketball is played outdoors in the heat of the summer, temperatures can oftentimes feel sweltering. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are two potentially dangerous results of playing basketball in such weather. Early signs of such heat-related afflictions include headache, neasea, and weakness. However, the benefits of playing in warm weather include the ability to properly warm the muscles of the body, reducing the chances of injury. The participant can also easily break a sweat, allowing him to feel as if he had an excellent workout. In such circumstances, staying hydrated is critical when it comes to avoiding heat-related setbacks.

Basketball in the Cold

Playing basketball outdoors in the cold will require that the participant wear layers of clothing, which makes it more difficult to run and maneuver on the court. It is harder to warm the muscles of the body when playing in the cold. This can lead to a higher likelihood that a player may pull or strain a muscle. However, when playing in the cold, you can still achieve a good basketball workout because the amount of energy you use while playing basketball is not directly equivalent to the amount of sweat produced. A lack of perspiration does not necessarily mean a bad or incomplete workout. Playing in the cold and means you have far less likely of reaching dangerously high body temperatures that can lead to heat stroke.

Bottom Line

Playing basketball and exercising in general in the heat is better because the ability of heat to adequately warm the body reduces the risk of commonplace injury. Although heat-related injuries can occur in such weather, the proper intake of fluids to prevent dehydration goes a long toward minimizing that risk. A hotter environment is also more conducive to wearing proper basketball attire, including a t-shirt or tank top, and shorts. When exercising in hotter environments, the body's blood flow to the skin improves. This begins to lower the skin-temperature threshold for sweating, allowing you to exercise in a more rigorous manner for longer periods of time.

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