It is officially the start of SUMMER! Summertime is my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love the sunshine and hot weather because anything else makes me feel a little gloomy.
In Arizona, we are pretty physically active. That is what happens when you live in a state that has a beautiful landscape, tons of hiking, and a bunch of outdoor activities. It is important to take the necessary safety measures when it comes to being physically active outdoors during the summer, even if you don’t live in Arizona.
During the summer in Tucson, most of the locals stay inside during the dead heat of the day. We know better than to go hike to Seven Falls when the heat has reached its peak. Still, someone always makes the news who had to be rescued out of the canyon because they didn’t pack enough water and are dehydrated or have heatstroke.
Here is my best advice for being safe while being active outside!
Hydration is important all the time, but especially if you live somewhere hot. If you are doing some sort of physical activity outdoors and not drinking water, you can become dehydrated quickly. Signs of severe dehydration include dark urine color, dizziness, rapid heart rate and breathing, and even fainting. I personally carry around a 32oz HydroFlask water bottle with me and make sure to take a drink out of it at least every hour!
If you are going on a hike or to the lake, make sure you have enough water. If you start to run low on water, you need to turn around, or else you might make the local news for needing to be rescued!
SPF is so important for many different reasons! First and foremost, sunburns hurt like beeotch. They can get so bad that they become 2nd or 3rd degree burns! Some sunburns have been known to cause dehydration if they are bad enough, along with a fever, nausea, and blisters.
Another reason to wear SPF is to protect yourself from skin cancer. One of the causes of skin cancer is too much exposure to sunlight, so it is important to apply and reapply SPF, as well as wear clothes to protect you if you’re going to be in the sun for a long period of time. More about that below.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your ears, eyelids, back of your neck, and tops of your feet.
Now I am not saying that you need to wear long sleeves and pants when it is 112 degrees out! However, I am saying to wear T-shirts to cover up your shoulders, wear tennis shoes if you’re going to be outside alllllll day (or water shoes if you’re going tubing down the river – because burned feet are the WORST), and hats to protect your face and scalp. Wear bathing suit cover-ups to protect your midsection, too! I know you probably think I am nuts for suggesting actually wearing clothes (“but Kayla, I want to get a TAN!”), but if you’re as white as I am, you want all of the protection you can get!
Do Everything in the Morning or Evening
If you MUST workout or do labor work outdoors, I highly recommend doing it early in the morning or later in the evening, before the sun goes down. That way it is cooler and the sun won’t be high in the sky, beating down on you!
Always makes sure you are safe during the summer. If you suspect that you are severely dehydrated and/or have heatstroke, go to the emergency room immediately!
Have a fun summer!
I wear a lot of hats; NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist; wife; fur mom; writer; college student; mental health advocate; pet sitter; Airman; athlete; and many more. I love my home in the southwest and my favorite season is summer. I am a sepsis survivor and I battle with generalized anxiety disorder and depression.