8 helpful hints for safely spending time in the heat.
For many people, summer means more activity and fun time spent outdoors. But it can also come with extreme heat and humidity. That’s why it’s always important to stay safe while enjoying time in the sun. Being prepared in every way is the best way to remain healthy. Here are eight helpful ways to enjoy being outside in the heat while also staying your safest:
Drink more water. Making sure your body has enough fluids is key. Try to drink water before, during, and after you’ve been in the heat. Fill up your favorite cup or water bottle and carry it with you throughout the day or when exercising.
Protect your skin. Sunscreen and other forms of protection (like lightweight clothing, sun/swim shirts or hats) are your friend. You can apply sunscreen to any skin that sees sunlight, like the face, shoulders, arms, legs, and ears.
Know the effect of humidity. High humidity (or the amount of water in the air) can make it more difficult for the body to cool down after spending time in the heat. Make sure to check the outside temperature and humidity daily.
Use a buddy system. Consider letting a family member or friend know when you’ll be spending time outdoors and where you’ll be. Having someone else know where you are is an added safety benefit when in the heat.
Ease into the heat. Your body might react to heat differently today than it will next weekend. Always start slow once you get outside, whether you’re exercising or walking to get your mail.
Avoid the hottest part of the day. The sun is at its highest point in the middle of the day, specifically around noon. If you’re looking to get in a walk or do some work in your yard, you might want to plan your outside time early in the morning or closer to sunset.
Pay close attention to how you feel. You know your body best. If you feel overheated or start to feel sick, get out of the sun and take a break by sitting down for a few minutes and drinking a glass of water.
Have a backup plan. While getting outdoors can boost your mood, there may be times when it’s best for you to stay inside. Having a backup plan gives you the opportunity to work toward your movement or lifestyle goals, even if you can’t be outside.
Remember HEAT when you’re in the heat.
If you’re trying to get that outdoor workout in or planning to go on a hike, just remember HEAT:
Hydrate: Make sure you have enough water beforehand, and don’t forget to drink more water after you’re done.
Eat: Consider having a small snack before your workout but try to avoid having a big meal right before you exercise.
Acknowledge: Know your limits and listen to your body. If you need to, move your workout indoors or take a 5-minute break.
Time: Give yourself time to warm up and cool down, even more so than usual. Use a cold washcloth on your forehead and neck to help you cool down faster.
Always prepare and listen to your body to keep safe in the sun.
With some preparation, you can enjoy nature and the outdoors on even the hottest days. Remember to take care of yourself and be mindful of how your body feels in the heat. A MOBE Guide can help you create a plan to get your daily movement in, even when it’s hot out. Get started today.