By Jana Griffin – Orange County IFAS/Extension, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
Living in Florida has its perks with lots of opportunities to enjoy exercise outside with access to beaches, walking trails, and parks. As you are encouraged to take advantage of these many opportunities, please be cautious of the heat and the damage it can cause to our bodies. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are just a few conditions that can happen in areas that have high heat and humidity. Signs and symptoms can range from light headedness, nausea, confusion, fatigue, loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases, death. This summer, as we continue to enjoy the outside pleasures our wonderful sunshine state has to offer, please remember to follow these simple tips to make it a safe, memorable and happy summer for all.
Hydration– Drink plenty of fluids and carry a bottle of water wherever you go. Make sure to drink more fluids than you are losing.
Electrolytes– In cases of prolonged sun exposure and fluid loss from sweating, remember to replace electrolytes. This can easily be done by consuming a sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade.
Appropriate clothing– Wear clothing that is light in color to help reflect sunlight. Choose material that wicks moisture away from the skin, allowing for quick evaporation and helping your body cool.
Time– Consider the time of day when choosing outside fitness activities. Morning time before 10 and afternoon time after 3 are better options as times between 10 and 3 are typically the hottest of the day.
If you choose physical activity options outside, these tips will help you continue achieving your fitness goals and remain safe. Always listen to your body and discontinue all activities if you begin to feel any of the above symptoms.