It seems like anywhere you go the words “record heat” are part of the conversation.
As outdoors men and women, dealing with heat either in the field or on the trail is part of living the outdoor lifestyle but there are some specific tactics and strategies you need to consider before heading out for a run or hanging stands on hot, humid days. Here are some tips I have accumulated as a personal trainer and coach for over 24 years, and they will help you stave off the heat this summer!
Acclimate to the conditions
Allow your body to adapt gradually to the heat over the course of 10-14 days. Initially, cut back the intensity and duration of your activity, and then slowly build it back up over time. Most heat illness occurs in the first 2-3 days of activity.
Once acclimated, increase your fluid intake because you will sweat more. Make sure you always have fluids with you. Thirst is not an indicator of dehydration. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
For the long haul
For activities lasting longer than an hour, consider consuming a sports drink that will replace the sodium and electrolytes you lose when you sweat. Water is sufficient for activities less than an hour. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. These substances increase water loss. A product like Wilderness Athlete Hydrate & Recover will provide electrolytes and aid in muscle recovery. Give the grape, watermelon or strawberry pomegranate flavors a try!
Exercising in extreme heat is not a badge of honor
If heat warnings are in effect, exercise earlier in the day or consider an in-door option. Every year we see people out jogging or cycling on days when the heat index is dangerous. It does not prove how tough you are, and it could land you in serious peril. Heat illness can be deadly.
Slap on the sunscreen
Finally, if you intend to exercise or work outdoors consider a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30. Skin cancer is no joke and if you accumulate a lot of miles or work outside, the sun will take its toll.
The summer is a wonderful time to be outside. Right now, we are training with our kids for fall sports, doing habitat improvements and hanging stands and it is loads of fun! Follow the tips above, have fun this summer and stay #FitToHunt!
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