Mayo Clinic Q and A: Safety tips for summer activities

Written by Cynthia Weiss of the Mayo Clinic News Network on July 13, 2022

September 23, 2022

Photo for Mayo Clinic Q and A: Safety tips for summer activities

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I love to be outdoors. I enjoy running, hiking and swimming. Often in the summer, I take my family camping, and we go kayaking, canoeing and do other activities. With the temperatures anticipated to be above average this summer, what advice do you have for making sure we avoid issues while being active outside?

ANSWER: It is great that you are dedicated to staying healthy through exercise, and being outdoors certainly is a bonus. Being active at all ages is recommended for all patients to improve overall health. While some people lose the motivation to exercise when it is hot outside, others enjoy activities that only warm weather can bring.

Hot weather, however, can put extra stress on your body. If you are not careful, you can risk serious illness because of the air temperature, humidity and often lack of hydration. It is important to take extra precautions regardless of the outdoor activities you choose.

You should:

Heat-related illnesses are largely preventable. If you begin to experience any issues, stop exercising immediately and get out of the heat. It is imperative to lower your body temperature and hydrate right away. You may place cool, wet towels or ice packs on your neck, forehead and under your arms; spray yourself with water from a hose or shower; or sit in a tub filled with cold water. Drink fluids, such as water or a sports drink. If you do not feel better within about 20 minutes, seek emergency medical care.

Lastly, if you have any other health issues, it is advisable to talk with your primary health provider before returning to vigorous activity.

Originally published on Mayo Clinic News Network.

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