Summer is here, and you know what that means: School is out, and the temperatures outside are rising. As summer approaches, it’s never a bad idea to revisit some common practices to make exercise, work, and sports in Oregon a more enjoyable experience for everyone. So, what are somethings residents should keep in mind while they’re out in the sun? Let’s take a look:
Drink Water — Plenty of It: Whether you’re walking along a trail or hanging out in a nearby wave pool to practice your surfing skills, high temperatures can cause your body to sweat more. That’s because when it’s hot, your body produces sweat to lose heat and regulate your body temperature. If you lose too much water through sweating, your body can become dehydrated. In most cases, people will start to fatigue. However, in extreme cases, individuals might experience dizziness, low blood pressure, or fainting, which can lead to other health problems.
This is why health experts recommend drinking eight glasses of water each day, before and after outdoor activities. As a general rule, you’ll want to drink at least 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes if you’re out in the sun. Remember, staying properly hydrated during the day is among the efficient methods to stay cool against summer’s relentless high temperature.
If you experience thirst, that could be the first sign of dehydration. Taking frequent breaks to rehydrate is also never a bad idea.
If you’re out with the kids, make sure to take breaks a lot more often. Since kids can sometimes get so caught up in playing, they might forget to stay hydrated. Things like water, Gatorade, Powerade, and smoothies are all equally effective. Just be sure to pick something up you and the kids can drink.
Enjoy Break Time: In short, the more active you are, the more your body will sweat to stay cool. Taking frequent breaks will not only give your body time to rest, it will also give your body the chance to cool down and get something to drink. Movement breaks, for example, are extremely important for your physical and mental health. Getting out of your chair to walk around the office and stretch your legs can reduce the negative health effects caused by too much sitting.
Look for Shade Outside: Although being in the sun has a number of advantages, it also has a number of disadvantages as well. Just as the sun can cause cancer and other damages to your body, it can also cause damage to your eyes. Fortunately, spending time in the shade can help you stay cool. While this option isn’t available for all activities, looking for shady spots to take a break should always be on your radar.
As you search for shade, keep in mind that shaded spots might change throughout the course of the day as the sun moves from one location to the other. So, it’s important to plan accordingly and park somewhere you think you’ll have the most shade. You should also be aware of hotspots, which occur when direct sunlight hits outdoor surfaces like playground areas, outdoor furniture, equipment, and car surfaces. This is another reason you should find a shady spot to rest.
Limit Sun Exposure During the Hottest Time of the Day: According to Sciencing, “the hottest part of the day during the summer is usually between 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., depending on cloud cover and wind speed.” That said, you should try to plan all your outdoor activities in the morning or towards the end of the day. This is the best way to avoid going out in the sun when it’s at its peak. Remember, the hottest point of the day is typically around 3-4 p.m., which means going outdoors might not be the best option when you’re off work.
The best time to go is normally in the morning when the sun is at its coolest. This is especially true for people who prefer outdoor activities or who work outside. If this is the case for you, then taking frequent breaks, getting enough fluids, and avoiding direct sunlight will be your best bet in the long run.
In the end, however, just be sure to use good judgment. If the heat is just too much to bear, then stay inside when you can and avoid participating in activities that involve you going directly in the sun. Also, pay close attention to infants, elderly people, and anyone with chronic illnesses since they’re more likely to experience dehydration. If this is the case, call for help right away and attend to the individual. Remember, although summer is a beautiful time of year, it can also be dangerous if you aren’t hydrated. So, make sure you drink lots of fluids.