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Hydration

The practice of physical activity is directly linked to a metabolic reaction which generates a use of caloric energy for which there is a resulting loss of body fluids (perspiration) in order to maintain the equilibrium of the core body temperature.

This lost water must be replaced. We cannot ask a marathon runner to abstain from drinking and to sweat for three hours, anymore than we can a hockey player who engages in a maximal expenditure of energy during the course of repeated one minute shifts.

The best way to hydrate oneself is simple but very important. It is the same for all types of sports activities. The athlete should drink 500 ml – 1 liter, one to two hours before the beginning of the activity. During the activity, 500 ml / hour is generally sufficient and should be ingested in small quantities at a time on a regular basis. This water should be a cool temperature in order to facilitate absorption.


Hygiene

Physical effort results in a rate of perspiration that varies from one individual to another as much for the quantity as for the odor. There are also other minor health problems that are very common in the sporting world. Have you heard of athlete’s foot?

Team sports have the particularity that the participating members often share restricted areas of space and enter into direct physical contact.

While it can be rather delicate to discuss hygiene with people, it remains an important issue. It is certainly easier and preferable to discuss the issue in the context of a general meeting with the whole group, ideally as early as possible in the development of the team. This avoids the installation of problems from the outset. Also, it should be talked about with younger players so that they become accustomed to this type of discussion and that they understand the importance of it at a young age.


Drugs

Your neighbour’s son is 15 years old and a bit marginal. You are aware that he consumes illicit drugs every weekend and sometimes even on weekdays. His best friend is not much better; he prefers alcohol and you often see him with a beer in hand. You consider yourself lucky that your son is very athletic and that he is part of a competitive hockey team. The father of the young neighbour tells you that your son has been taking steroids every day for one year and anti-histamines before his games to increase his performance. You beleive that it is not a serious issue because in the end, with the help of drugs, he increases his chances of playing professionally one day by 1/1,000,000!

It is high time that we confront the issues such as they are. No drugs or alcohol is tolerable in relation with sports. As for performance enhancing drugs, the risks associated with them cannot justify their use. As for illicit drug and alcohol, their use puts not only the user at risk but also the other athletes in the game as well.


HIV

Physical activity is certainly one of the favored methods of maintaining good health. People carrying HIV are no exception. They can and have the right to also profit from the benefits of physical fitness.

Many people in your day-to-day entourage may be carriers of HIV without your knowledge. This changes nothing. This is not an influenza virus (virus responsible for the flu) which can be caught with the slightest contact. It is well known that transmission of HIV must occur via body fluids excluding sweat and saliva.

Obviously, the people responsible for first aid will use gloves for any intervention where bleeding is present. This procedure must be respected with all participants. If it should occur that a person be vexed because you wear gloves–tell him with a little smile, that it is to protect him. You will see that people understand quickly in this case.


Bronchospasms

Three years ago, a hockey coach told me that there were four bottles of water on the players’ bench and six ‘’pumps’’ for players suffering from exercise-induced asthma attacks in his pockets. When I was playing myself, we had neither ‘’pumps’’ nor water, but lots of gum. It was hardly any better.

The use of ‘’pumps’’ for the practice of sports does not seem to correspond with what is taught to the patient in the doctor’s office. Upon prescribing the medication, the doctor advises on the use of the pump, about 30 minutes before physical activity, and he mentions that the effect should last for the two hours that follow. Why then, are players using it nearly always during an activity and sometimes more than once? It seems that it would be in the interest of several players to re-consult their doctor to discuss this.

Nevertheless, as the person responsible for first aid, make sure that the ‘’pumps’’ are well identified and give them to the players concerned as needed.


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