***Immediately Stop Exercise if Feeling Faint, Weak, or Dizzy. Seek Shade, Sip Water, Place Cool, Wet Towel Behind Neck, and Rest. Frequently Check Pulse to Ensure Heart Rate is Slowing Down. If symptoms continue, seek medical attention
It’s summer, and it is hot af outside! With that comes an increased risk of heat stroke, dehydration, and death when not properly prepared. The heat is not something to take likely; you make think you’re in great shape, but even professional athletes have died from heat exposure. That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still enjoy your time, and even continue to exercise, outside. With that being the case, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the possibility for sun affected illness or death.
You should be drinking water all day, every day, but if you know you will be participating in prolonged exercise or sports, you should start increasing your water intake 15-20 minutes prior to competition. A good rule of thumb is to weigh yourself before, during (if possible), and after the athletic event. ACSM recommendations suggest that you drink about 23 fl oz of fluid for every pound of weight lost during exercise. Drink the necessary fluid gradually between the time you finish your first workout and 1-2 hours before you start your next one.
Exercise 1 hour or less, water is recommended
Exercise Greater than 1 hour, a Sports Drink such as Gatorade or Powerade is suggested
To eliminate extra sugars, create a ½ – ½ water to sports drink mix
Pedialyte is a fantastic option for hydration, and contains many vitamins and minerals
Pickle Juice (because of the high sodium content) has been shown to help with hydration and cramping
Be sure to drink often, and in smaller sips rather than large gulps. Doing this helps keep the body temperature down and avoid upset stomach/cramping from drinking too fast
Avoid darker colors, and heavy cottons/wool blends. Instead opt for lighter color clothes that are breathable and help wick the sweat away from your body. This helps keep you
Wear a hat and glasses when you can. It not only keeps the sun out of your face and eyes, you also look super cool.
Wear your sunscreen…ALWAYS. Reapply as needed if sweating is profuse. Studies show that anything above SPF 50 has no greater sun blocking benefits
I know most of us like our deep, dark tans in the summer, and the sun does have some benefits (Vitamin D, looked more toned hahah), but staying in the shade as much as possible during the athletic event will help keep your body temperature regulated, and help avoid damaging sunburn.
AVOID PEAK HOURS:
The sun is hottest between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (typically). If possible, avoid training outside during those times. If it is unavoidable to train during these times, taking more and longer rest periods can help deter the effects of the heat.
If your mouth is dry, have a headache or are dizzy, you are most likely already dehydrated and heading towards heat stroke. If you notice these symptoms or feel disoriented, nauseous, or are getting cramps, STOP IMMEDIATELY, seek help, and follow the hydration steps above.
While there are dangers associated with exercising or competing outside, with proper planning and precaution many of those dangers can be decreased significantly. Be safe, pay attention, and enjoy your time outside!