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Safe Physical Activity in the Heat
The summer can be a wonderful time to enjoy outdoor activities – swimming in particular is a favorite to stay cool! But with the increased heat and sun exposure, how can we safely enjoy other activities like walking, running, riding a bike or playing an outdoor sport?
- Getting outside before 10 am or waiting until after 6pm is ideal for limiting sun exposure. This is important to reduce skin cancer risk, but also to keep your core temperature in a safe range!
- Eat before you get active. Being in the heat is known to reduce your appetite. Normally, this is okay and your appetite will recover once you are back in the AC. However, if your goal is a good workout, skipping food is not a good idea. Fuel yourself with carbohydrates that are easily digestible before leaving the house.
- Get those electrolytes! Most of us know we lose salt in our sweat, so you can maintain your electrolyte balance with a sports drink (beware of those with lots of sugar) or a powdered drink additive. We enjoy Liquid I.V. and Nuun.
- Stay hydrated! On a normal day, most adults require 50-70 oz of water per day. Your body’s need for water goes up in the heat, but be sure you are balancing with electrolyte intake. Consuming too much water can lead to electrolyte deficiencies that are dangerous.
The summer can be a great time to try new hobbies and stay active, so grab that water bottle, be safe, and enjoy!