Summer's Here and So Is the Heat

Summer is finally here. This means vacations, sunshine, pool parties, BBQ, lazy days and long nights. In the South, it also signals the coming of the dreaded heat and humidity. The it’s-too-hot-to-touch-the-steering-wheel days and the it’s-way-too-hot-to-go-outside days. And, let’s not forget the it’s-definitely-too-hot-to-workout days.

So, how can we beat the heat and stay active? Here are a few summertime tips to help keep you motivated to stay active, even on those too-hot-to-move days.

1. Keep cool with healthy snacks, like frozen fruit and fruit smoothies.

2. Stay hydrated. Drink water before, during and after you exercise.

3. Avoid exercising outside between noon and 3 pm, which is the hottest time of the day.

4. Take frequent breaks in the shade when working or playing outside.

5. Wear lightweight clothing. Clothes made with moisture-wicking fabric can keep your body cool on those hot days.

6. Protect your head. Wearing a visor or sun hat can protect your eyes and face from the sun’s rays. Other items, like a sweatband, can absorb moisture away from your skin.

7. Wear sunscreen. The American Heart Association recommends using water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and reapplying every two hours.

8. Use repellant to shield against annoying pests, like mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests using products containing at least 20% DEET.

9.  Check the weather before you venture out. If there’s a heat advisory, plan indoor activities.

10. Listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, nauseous or faint, stop immediately. Find shade, drink water and, if possible, pour cold water over your body. Heat stroke is serious and requires immediate medical attention.

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. No matter what outdoor activity you’re planning, remember to stay safe and keep cool.