The summer months bring sunshine, warm temperatures and the perfect conditions
for outdoor activities like walking, hiking, swimming and cycling. Sunlight
and the calming sensation of nature experienced when exercising outdoors
can improve your mood, reduce stress, and can help to increase your body’s
vitamin D levels. Nicer weather conditions and longer days, however, tend
to cause people to work for longer periods of time and exert more energy
than when performing indoor activities.
While it can be pleasurable to enjoy outdoor activities, increased time
and energy spent in hot outdoor conditions can have adverse effects on
the body. Dehydration, cramping, and sunburn are all heat related conditions
that can become more dangerous or have lasting impacts on the body if
not addressed properly. Unaddressed symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
stroke can lead to severe sickness which may result in the need to seek
Before going outside this summer, use these tips and tricks to beat the
heat when you’re outside:
Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen (minimal 30 SPF) 15 minutes before going outside. Reapply
every couple of hours and after swimming or excessive sweating. Don’t
forget your ears and toes!
Hydration: Drink 8 glasses of 8 oz. of water per day. Drink an additional 2 oz.
of water for every 15-20 minutes outside in the heat.
Clothing: Loose fitting clothes that allow airflow and sweat to be evaporated (moisture-wicking
or quick-drying) are best for outdoor activities. White shirts help reflect
the sun’s UV rays that cause increase of body temperature or sunburn.
A ball cap or hat can be worn for additional shade for the head and face
that you may be unaware are exposed to the sun.
Sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses protect your eyes and keep you from being depleted
by the sun’s rays by blocking the magnification of light into your eyes.
Time: Outdoor chores or yard work and physical activity should be completed
before the sun rises to prevent heat related illnesses. If you long to
be outdoors, be sure to take frequent breaks. At least 10 minutes of rest
per every 30 minutes of activity. When hosting a BBQ, it is best to grill
after the sun sets!