We are entering the heat of summer here in Chattanooga. Being in a city that facilitates and all but begs us to be outdoors, it is important to remember heat safety. Heat tolerance can be acquired over time, but even the most acclimated of athletes have to battle the sweltering, southern heat and humidity with care.
1) Hydrate early. If you're planning an outdoor activity, plan to hydrate your body adequately the day before. Beginning an outdoor endeavor in the heat of summer with a water deficit could mean trouble.
2) Hydrate often. Keep drinking water throughout your workout or activity. And if you have some to spare, sprinkle some on your scalp. This will release heat and lower your body temp.
3) Wear sunscreen. This may not seem helpful at the moment, but you'll thank yourself the next day when everyone else is bathing in aloe!
4) Plan time of day. Pay attention to the temperature grade throughout the day. Try to avoid mid-day activities. Plan your runs or workouts for the early morning or near sunset!
5) Wear cool clothing. This probably goes without saying. Pick loose, light-colored clothing that won't suffocate you, attract more heat, or restrict your movement.
6) Consider something cooler! Beat the heat altogether by looking into some activities more conducive to staying cool: indoor climbing, kayaking, or shaded hikes.
*Remember, if you experience any dizziness or nausea, seek medical attention immediately. Don't let heat exhausting turn into a heat stroke. Stay safe and have fun!