It’s only the middle of April and it’s already in the 80s in Boise! It’s finally the time of year to get outside and take advantage of all that the beautiful Treasure Valley has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned Idaho outdoor vet, or this is your first summer in the area, the summertime here is no joke. Take a look at the following recommendations from your friendly neighborhood Physical Therapist to ensure your mind and body stay healthy as the heat kicks up.
Tip #1 The Urine Test
Hydration is key as we up the difficulty for our bodies to stay cool. The National Athletic Trainer’s Association recommends consuming between 17 to 20 fluid ounces of water 2 to 3 hours routinely before exercise, and 7 to 10 fluid ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during the workout itself. The age-old “urine test” is a tried and true way to ensure you’re consuming enough fluids. If your urine is a light lemonade color, your body has what it needs. If it’s more of a dark apple juice color, there’s a high chance that you’re dehydrated. You haven’t peed in quite a while? You need some water, STAT!
Tip #2 SPF It Up
Not only do sunburns hurt, but they interfere with your bodies ability to regulate its temperature. It doesn’t matter how much water is in your system if you get a bad burn. Everyone’s skin is different, so figure out what kind of sunscreen it takes for you to stave off the UVAs and Bs and your body will be much more compliant with your outdoor endeavors.
Tip #3 Diuretics + Sun = Bad
There’s nothing like your favorite frosty beverage to keep you cool in the heat, but alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics that make it harder for your body to hold onto and utilize water. This means that you need to up the water intake even more than normal if you’re indulging. A good rule of thumb is to drink an equal amount of water in between every alcoholic or caffeinated drink. We definitely aren’t against a good time, just heat stroke.
Tip #4 Know the Signs
Many times, people assume that you have to be outside for a long time for their bodies to overheat. This is far from the truth. 30 minutes can be long enough to develop heat sickness, which can sideline you from the fun and even cause brain damage depending on the severity. So know the signs. If you or a loved one are experiencing nausea, dizziness, headaches, confusion, fainting, fatigue, muscle cramps, pale skin, profuse sweating and/or a rapid heartbeat then it’s past time to get out of the sun. Find some shade or an air-conditioned room, remove any excess clothing, and drink some cold water. If this doesn’t do the trick then more involved measures should be taken such as cold showers or ice towels. As with anything, if you’re not sure what to do or it seems serious, DO NOT hesitate to seek medical attention!
It is so fun to be outside this time of year and we don’t want to see anyone sidelined from the fun so heed this advice and live up the Idaho experience!
If you have more questions about staying safe in the warm weather then be sure to ask one of our licensed professionals. PTs are the specialists in helping you live your life to the fullest and that includes beating the heat!