Keep Your Cool This Summer

Sharon Rekieta, Fitness and Wellness Director - 20th June 2014

Summer officially arrives this weekend and typically brings warmer temperatures to most parts of the country.

If you find yourself thinking about curtailing your outdoor activities, follow these suggestions for a safe season of fun.

Stay Hydrated:  If you will be outside in the heat for any length of time, your body will need additional fluids.  Carry a water bottle so you can sip from it frequently—a common guideline is to consume four to six ounces every 15-minutes. If you are sweating profusely for more than an hour, you’ll occasionally need several ounces of an electrolyte-replacing beverage such as Gatorade or Powerade to replace important minerals lost during sweat.

Clothing:  Light colored, lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing keeps you feeling cooler by reflecting some of the sun’s rays and helping deflect sweat away from your body so the sweat evaporates faster.  Sweat-resistant sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses are also required additions for everyone in the sun.

Exercise:  To avoid the blazing rays, plan your workouts for the early morning or evening hours, seek shady areas or tree-lined trails, and realize that you may need to dial back the intensity and/or duration of your routine.  My favorite keep cool hints include immersing myself in a pool prior to a workout, putting ice cubes on my head under a hat and carrying a partially frozen rag to towel off my face.  I also keep an eye out for sprinklers or water fountains for refreshing relief.

Working:  If your job requires being outside, follow the above hints for exercise.  In addition, take frequent breaks and if some of those breaks can be taken in an air-conditioned building, that’s even better.

Keep the above hints in mind for the next few months to keep your cool during the dog days of summer.