Written by Shannon Polk, Kudos Team Contributor
Pool parties, outdoor concerts, festivals and road races are just some of the things we love about summer, but the heat can be a real danger if we’re not properly hydrated and taking the necessary steps to keep cool. Check out these tips for staying safe in hot weather conditions this summer.
Hydrate with the right food and drinks: Whether you’re hosting an outdoor barbecue or signed up for a triathlon, it’s important to take in plenty of liquids through food and drinks. You may opt for plain water, a sports drink or fresh produce—just be sure to take in fluids often (before, during and after outdoor activities). Hydrating often will not only keep you energized but will prevent serious dehydration that can result in heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Wear the right clothing: To stay cool, make sure your clothing and footwear are light in color, lightweight and breathable. Clothing made out of technical fabrics or merino wool will help keep you cool and dry, as will moisture-wicking socks. There is also sun protective clothing—look for garments that have a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) label.
Protect your skin: Breathable hats are also great for protecting your head, face and eyes from the sun. Because we tend to wear less clothing in warmer weather, our skin is more exposed and vulnerable to sun damage. We recommend using a waterproof SPF 50 sunscreen lotion (not spray) to protect your skin—don’t forget about your ears, feet and head! If your skin burns easily or is sensitive to skin products, it’s best to consult your doctor to determine the best sunscreen for you.
Shield your eyes from the sun: Have you spent hours squinting on a sunny day because you forgot your sunglasses or didn’t have a comfortable pair to wear? Your body uses valuable energy to squint so you are likely to feel fatigued more quickly and may even develop a headache. To avoid this, consider investing in some sunglasses with polarized lenses, which can reduce glare off water, vehicles and snow—so these are great for winter months as well. Under Armour, Ryder, Tifosi and Smith Optics offer a variety of polarized sunglasses to suit your activity and keep you comfortable.
Give yourself time to acclimate to the weather: As we transition from spring to summer, the temperature is bouncing back and forth from cool and crisp to hot and humid. Make sure you give your body time to adjust to the changing conditions. You can do this by taking it easier the first week or two you’re exercising in hotter, less comfortable conditions. Over time your body will start to adapt to the heat and you can gradually increase the length and intensity of your exercise routine.