Colombians warned not to have sex amid heatwave

Health officials warn against strenuous physical activity as global heatwave continues

A Colombian couple take part in World Tango Championships
(Image credit: Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)

Colombians have been warned not to have sex in a bid to remain cool as the country grapples with a record-breaking heatwave that has seen thousands hospitalised.

Julio Salas, health secretary in the coast city of Santa Marta where temperatures have soared to more than 40C, “triggered shock and amusement” after he called for residents of the Caribbean tourist spot to forego sex during the daytime, reports The Independent.

“Avoid making love or having sex at times when the temperature is high, especially at noon, because this activity places physical demands on you and increases your heart rate,” Salas said on a local radio station.

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According to Colombia Reports, he advised that if residents believe physical activity is absolutely necessary and did not have access to air conditioning, they should wait until after sunset “or at times when the temperature is lower.”

Newsweek says “sexual activity, which rarely makes a person’s heart rate go over 130 beats per minute, is considered to be a mild to moderate activity in terms of exercise”.

According to the American Heart Association, the heart works the same amount during sex as it does when walking up two flights of stairs.

Salas also recommended a series of measures to combat the intense heat including staying hydrated and wearing loose clothing.

It follows reports that hospitals throughout the city were receiving patients complaining of nausea and headaches, both symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Colombia’s sky-high temperatures are part of a worldwide heatwave that has caused a growing number of casualties and led to a series of natural disasters across the northern hemisphere.

Last week The Guardian reported that 42 people have now been reported dead and more than 3,400 received treatment for heat-related illnesses in South Korea. It follows record high temperatures in the Japanese city of Kumagaya at the end of July, which left at least 44 people dead.

Meanwhile, the death toll from Greece’s deadliest forest fire grew to 96 people when a 68-year-old man succumbed to his injuries in the hospital on Tuesday.

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