With the first day of summer officially behind us, Erath County residents can surely expect temperatures to continue to climb over the next several months.
While Texas summers should be fun and enjoyable, many regions throughout the state experience multiple triple digit temperature days along with high humidity. The extreme heat can pose serious health concerns to humans and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more heat related deaths each year than there are caused by hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods combined.
Below are some tips for staying active, but also staying safe as we head into the blistering summer months.
1. Drink up
Exercising in hot weather increases body temperature. Even though our bodies have built-in cooling systems that help us adjust to heat (sweating), it can fail if you’re exposed for too long. This can result in heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke.
The human body typically loses about two to three percent of the water in our bodies during typical exercise and activity, especially on hot days. Therefore, it’s advised that you drink some water before the activity and at least eight to 10 ounces of water every 20 minutes during your period of activity.
While drinking water is very important, it’s also important to not ‘over hydrate’. This can lead to hyponatremia (low blood sodium) which can be just as dangerous as dehydration.
2. Don’t be afraid to ease up
Likely the hottest day we’ve experienced here in Erath County thus far was over the weekend. It wasn’t even 100 degrees.
Therefore, we’re all used to doing activities in at least a somewhat cooler climate. The first thing you should admit is that it’s unfair to expect your body to perform the same on a 100 degree day, compared to a day where the high is 85 degrees.
If you normally, run, job or ever walk, slow down and let your body adapt to the heat.
3. Avoid the hottest part of the day
One of the simplest tips on this list. If you typically work out or have outdoor activities planned in the afternoon, move them to the early morning or near sunset to avoid the midday heat.
4. Wear light colored, lightweight clothing
Dark colors absorb the heat. I made the mistake of wearing a black shirt to the Boyd State 7-on-7 qualifying tournament on Saturday and immediately regretted the decision. Be sure to keep your outfits loose and light. This will allow air to circulate over your skin and keep you cool.
5. Eat snacks to maintain energy
When I say snacks, I mean something that’s decent for your body, like fruit. The last thing any working body needs on a hot day is a dry snack, like crackers, popcorn or even an energy bar. Items like these can cause excess thirst.
6. Just know when to call it a day
Whether your at Splashville, City Park or taking a walk on the Bosque River Trail, don’t be afraid to call it a day. It’s not going to kill you to not finish what it is your doing at that exact moment, but in all honesty it may just kill you if you try.
Listen to your body. If you’re feeling weakness, light headedness, dizziness, paling of the skin, headache, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting or experiencing rapid heartbeat then get out of the heat and find air-conditioned comfort…..fast.