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Monday, June 6, 2016

Staying Cool in Summer Heat

Even though it has been a soggy spring, sizzling temps are imminently on the horizon for summer. The ultra-bright rays of the sun, coupled with scorching temperatures, can be downright dangerous if not careful when spending time outdoors.
Sunburn, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and even fainting are not uncommon at this time of year.
Whether playing organized sports, or casual pick-up games in the park or by the lake, here are some simple tips to keep cool while outside this summer.
  1. Wear sunscreen.
    • Sunscreen of at least SPF 30 should be applied 30 minutes before going outside, and then reapplied every two hours. Choose a formula that is water-resistant, to stand up to swimming and sweat, and one that is labeled 'broad-spectrum coverage for both UVA and UVB rays.'
  2. Sport sunglasses.
    • Eyes are very delicate, just like skin, and need to be protected from the sun's harmful rays. Look for glasses that 'block UV light' as a feature.
  3. Choose light fabrics, in light colors.
    • Pale, light-colored clothing will keep you cooler than something dark that absorbs heat. Also opt for layers that are breathable, or mesh-like. High-tech fabric that is 'moisture-wicking,' also helps to keep skin dry and cool.
  4. Hydrate, and eat right.
    • Adults need approximately two liters of water per day. Make sure to up that in the hot summer months when perspiration increases, and we lose more water and dehydration can easily set in.
    • Eating foods with a high water content is also smart. Fruits like watermelon, and veggies, like tomatoes and lettuces, are all packed with water which can be energizing and refreshing.
  5. Schedule wisely.
    • Try to plan your outdoor workouts or activities early in the mornings before temps rise, or late in the afternoon or early evening as the sun is setting. Alternating between indoor and outdoor workouts can also provide your body a break from the heat.
If you have been outdoors in the sun and experience any of the following conditions, see medical help immediately:
  • Profuse sweating
  • Convulsions and chills
  • Confusion or mumbling
  • Vomiting
(Adapted from STOP Sports Injuries)
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