By Fit For Work Staff
School is out and warm weather is hear! Protect yourself from the heat and enjoy a summer full of fun outdoor activities! Hear are some things to consider when planning your time outdoors:
Timing and location
Try to avoid outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun's rays are the strongest. If you like to workout outdoors, aim for early morning bouts while the sun is still low. If you must be out in the sunniest parts of the day, find trails and parks with abundant shade. Check the weather forecast as you plan your day. If there is a heat or air quality advisory, you may want to consider an indoor activity that day.
Protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays by using a combination approach of sunscreen, clothing and sunglasses.
Sunscreen: Thirty minutes before going outside, use 1 ounce (a full shot glass) of lotion all over your body of at least SPF 15. Reapply every two hours, or after swimming or intense activity. Look for sunscreens with "broad protection," meaning that they protect against UVA and UVB rays. Note: Babies and infants have extra sensitive skin. Children under 6 months old should avoid sun exposure.
Clothing: Wear loose, light-colored clothing to reflect the heat. You may want to try "high-tech" clothing designed to wick away sweat and keep you cool. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to provide shade for your face and neck.
Sunglasses: To prevent damage to your eyes, choose sunglasses that are large enough to cover the entire eye area and provide 100 percent UV protection. Glasses should fit comfortably over the ears and not slide down the nose. Specialty lenses can help prevent glare or improve depth perception to help keep you safe when exercising outdoors.
Most importantly, listen to your body!
Stop if you feel dizzy, nauseous, faint or light-headed. Ease into outdoor activities and follow the tips above to enjoy a summer of outdoor fun. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion:
High body temperature: 104 F or higher
Altered mental sate or behavior: confusion, agitation, slurred speech
Alteration in sweating: Skin will feel hot and dry to the touch
Nausea and vomiting
Flushed skin: May turn red as body temperature increases
Racing heart rate: Heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body