Summer is here whether we like it or not. Charlotte’s forecast for the next two days will be 99 degrees or higher! It’s time to start planning on keeping cool on those hot, muggy days, especially if you play sports.
If you are active or play sports in the summer months it is very important to have some tricks up your sleeve on keeping cool when temperatures soar!
- When playing sports or exercising, try to take advantage of the early morning or late evening cooler temps. If you can’t, then scale it down to fewer minutes or less strenuous exercise.
- Let your body acclimate to the heat. Start off slowly and increase the length/intensity of your workout. If you have a medical condition, always check with your doctor first.
- Wear lose fitting clothing in light colors. Avoid dark colors, which can absorb the heat.
- If you’re wearing hat, remove it and pour a little ice cold water into the hat, then invert it and place on your head.
- Wear sunscreen- A sunburn prevents the body from cooling itself!
- Stay hydrated! Drink before you are thirsty! Drink plenty of water along with sports drinks.
- Freeze water in plastic bottles and grab one on your way out. As the ice melts, you will have nice, ice cold water!
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol – both promote dehydration! Also avoid drinks with too much sugar.
- Place wet towel on the back of your neck and also the top of your head. I do this when I play soccer in the summer and it totally works!
- Wet your wrists, behind your knees, and your neck with cold water. Use a piece of ice wrapped in a face cloth, to continue after the coolness wears off. Constantly cooling the wrists will also cool off the body. I take a ziploc bag filled with ice with a rag in it to soccer. When I break I pull out the rag and apply it to pulse points to help me cool down.
The one thing you shouldn’t do?
I recommend you do not stick your face in a freezer with your mouth wide open and place your tongue anywhere near anything in the freezer. I did that once as a kid. And yes, my tongue did get stuck to the inside of the freezer. Yes, I looked like and idiot, and yes, it hurt like heck pulling my tongue from the freezer! HA HA!
Use Common Sense!
During hot-weather exercise, be on the lookout for heat-related illness. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
If you suspect a heat-related illness, stop exercising and get out of the heat. Drink water, and wet and fan your skin. If you don’t feel better within 60 minutes, contact your doctor. If you develop a fever or become faint or confused, seek immediate medical help.
This article was not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. Use common sense. If you have questions, contact your doctor and if you suspect any heat related illness, go to your emergency room ASAP.