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Check Yourself – Before You Wreck Yourself!

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Experts tell us that doing things for the right reasons is equally important as just doing them. They also tell us that doing things for the wrong reasons, particularly when it comes to sports and recreation, can de-motivate us. Couple that with the dangers of exercise in too-hot weather, and right there we have a recipe for trouble. So – courtesy of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal, here are a few tips for staying safe (and motivated) while participating in sports and recreation activities this summer…

For what to look for…and, beware of…

  • Heat cramps – which are involuntary muscle contractions brought on by fatigue, dehydration, or an electrolyte imbalance.
  • Heat exhaustion – which is the inability to complete exercise behavior because of heat-induced symptoms such as nausea, headache, or hyperventilation, and…
  • Heat stroke – which is when one’s body core temperature reaches 104° F *Note: this condition is life-threatening, and is marked by confusion, hot, red skin, disorientation, loss of balance, and potentially even loss of consciousness….

Ahoy, there, maties! Yes, yes!! Please read on because, just like sex, and violence, and rock-n-roll – this is Serious Business

So – now, that we understand the gravity of the situation, we are ready for the warm weather exercise tips…

  • Stay away from Midday – right on, yeah! That makes absolute and total perfect sense, right? Rightio!! Yes indeed – stay away from midday.
  • Remember, light and loose…wear lightweight and light-colored clothing. Easy peezy!
  • Good nutritional intake is critical – this promotes fluid intake and retention; normal fluid intake with meals supports pre-hydration before activities and helps prevent/delay dehydration
  • Remember to drink! – ‘Nuff said.
  • Pace yourself – Slow and steady wins the race
  • Apply and reapply – Sunscreen! Put it on! And after awhile – put it on again!!
  • Perhaps let’s use our inside voicesweather or not – the idea here is – check the forecast, yous! If there’s a heat advisory, or high ozone or air pollution, consider taking your workout inside.
  • Your body knows best – so listen to it! Having a routine helps – so if you’re body starts to balk – adjust as needed.

Workin’ out – sports and recreation – it does a body good. Be safe, and enjoy!! Cheerio!!

Sources:

DeSimone, G. T. (2017, July/August). Shareable resource: Exercise safely this summer. American College of Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal (21), (4). July/August 2017

Segar, M. (2017, July/August). Activity tracking + motivation science: Allies to keep people moving for a lifetime. American College of Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal (21), (4). July/August 2017.

By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman

Dr. Rodney J. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at rblackman@ussa.edu.

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