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Tips to Stay Active in the Summertime Heat

By Brian Acton

Summer is a great time of year for exercise and activity. Not only is the weather warm enough to get outside, there are far more activities to choose from. Whether you’re into team sports, swimming, hiking, running or biking, summer offers plenty of options. What’s more, you can usually find some friends to join you on your favorite activities. One of the biggest safety factors to consider, however, is the effect that the summer sun and heat can have when you’re engaged in some strenuous activity. Here’s how to take precautions in the summer heat while getting out there and enjoying the sunshine. Stay Hydrated You must drink enough water to prevent dehydration, which can cause dizziness, nausea, or in extreme cases kidney failure. When venturing out, carry water with you to rehydrate yourself as you exercise. If you’re performing an activity where you need your hands – biking, for instance – find a way to take water, such as a water bottle attachment for your bike. Drink water before, during, and after activity. There’s no need to overdo it – which can cause it’s own set of problems – but regular hydration will keep your body functioning properly in the heat. Choose the Right Time and Location The worst span of time to plan outdoor activities in hot weather is from late morning into the afternoon, when the sun is in full force. Try to plan activities early in the morning – between sunrise and 10AM – or later in the evening after 6PM. Of course, any activity that keeps you in the shade, such as hiking a trail lined with tall trees, will help keep you from baking in the sun. Protect Your Skin Light, loose clothing protects you from the sun. Dark clothing usually absorbs heat over time, while white clothing and neutral colors reflect sunrays. Loose fitting clothes made of natural materials work well, and there are clothing items that wick moisture from your body, cooling you off. Of course, wearing sunscreen is a must, especially for the fair-skinned. Watersports Watersports ease the heat. A pool, waterpark, or the local beach will offer the ability to exercise while staying cool. While at home, even a kiddie pool or the sprinkler can help cool the family off. Whether you’re drinking it or playing in it, water makes any outdoor summer activity more pleasant. Exercise Indoors Sure, this tip doesn’t give you the ability to enjoy the sun. But on brutally hot summer days, it can be wiser to keep out of the heat altogether. A gym membership gives you unlimited potential for exercise out of the sun and in an air-conditioned climate. Health clubs, roller rinks, and even walks at the mall can help you keep active without the sun beating down on you. If you prefer to stay at home, exercise DVDs or a treadmill can keep you active from the comfort of home. Conclusion When the heat rises, a little planning and preparation can keep your outdoor activities both fun and safe. If you’re looking to get back into activity this summer after an injury, check out our line of athletic and extremity supports – they can help you get back out there while providing support to your problem area.   Sources: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/quick_tips_staying_active_in_hot_weather-health/article_em.htm http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/8-tips-for-exercising-in-summer-heat
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