Survive the Summer Heat
When the weatherman calls for “another scorcher,” it’s tough to work up the motivation to go outside. Whether you’re a runner, hiker, mountain biker or bird watcher, the summer heat can present a myriad of health and safety challenges. But that’s not to say don’t go outside! Instead, take a few simple precautions and have fun this summer!
Take a cue from the birds
and start your adventure early. Hit the trail while the cool of the night still lingers. You can easily pack in several miles before the heat of the day hits.
Drink plenty of water
and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start because by then it’s too late. Most nutritionists say you should drink at least 2L of water per day for normal activity. If you’re outside playing in the sun, you’ll need to drink twice that or more, depending on the temperature, altitude, and your level of exertion. If you’re out for the day, try carrying an ultralight water filter or purifying tablets, so you can refill your water bottles along the way.
Enjoy some salty snacks
to prevent muscle cramps. When you cramp up after a day on the trail, it’s likely because of sodium loss through extensive sweating. Take a bag of salty chips or energy bars that are high in sodium. You can also mix nutrition powders like Tailwind into your water to help restore electrolytes.
Cover up with lightweight, loose fitting, breathable clothing
and don’t forget a hat! It might sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to prevent heat exhaustion is to cover up your skin with long sleeves and pants. (According to Center for Disease Control!) Choose light colors to help repel the heat and quick-drying fabrics to wick the moisture away from your skin.
Know the signs
of dehydration and heat exhaustion. If you’re experiencing extreme thirst, dry mouth, headaches, and dizziness, it’s time to get out of the sun, rest, and drink some water with an electrolyte supplement or mix with a sports drink to replace nutrients. You can read more about that here.
Go for a swim
or exercise indoors if it’s too hot and humid. High humidity + heat can lead to hyperthermia (overheating), heat exhaustion, dehydration, and even fainting. There’s no shame in taking a rain check on that hike and going for a swim instead!