Despite the current stretch of sizzling summer weather, area residents still enjoy the fun and feel of outdoor physical activity during this time of year. Whether it is running, swimming, golf, tennis, horseback riding or mountain biking, one should always be concerned about safety and taking precautions to avoid injuries particularly during the warmer months.
Dr. Mark Klion, a sports medicine specialist in Mount Sinai’s Department of Orthopaedics suggests the following tips for preventing injuries while still enjoying the benefits of physical exercise:
• Stay Hydrated: It is important to replenish sweat loss from exercise (8-10 oz of fluid per 15 minutes of exercise). If longer than 1 hour of activity, extra calories may be needed in the form of carbohydrates (i.e. Gatorade, etc.) To determine fluid loss you can weigh yourself before and after exercise. The weight that is lost is due to fluid loss. Be careful that weight is maintained following exercise. As little as 1% loss of body weight from fluid loss can adversely affect performance.
• Protect Yourself: Wearing a hat and sunglasses helps provide protection from the sun and helps reduce stress and fatigue from squinting.
• Save Your Skin: Waterproof sunscreen should be applied prior to exercise to avoid burns which can curtail activities and cause pain. Also prevent skin from chafing which occurs while sweating. Use body lubricants like non-petroleum based compounds such as Bodyglide.
• Early & Late is Great: It is best to avoid exercise during peak sun and heat times in the middle of the day. Better to exercise early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid dehydration which can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even potentially life-threatening heat stroke.
• Wear Appropriate Clothing: Light colored synthetic wicking athletic wear helps keep core temperature down and can protect from sun damage.
• Don’t Overdo It: Be prepared to change workout duration and or intensity based on temperature and humidity. May have to be an easier workout because of heat to avoid fatigue.
Taking these simple precautions can help both competitive athletes and weekend warriors enjoy their exercise this summer in a safe and healthy way.
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