Enduring the 'dog days' of summer
December 31, 2003 09:00 PM
Washington, D.C., 30 July 2001 (Teamtalk) -- For most of us, the summer sun has been blazing down on us and the mercury on the thermometer has been marching steadily upward for a few months now. As July comes to an end, there's no denying that summer is in full throttle.
Whether you're playing soccer, soaking up rays pool-side or at the beach, or just enjoying the outdoors, there are a couple of important factors to keep in mind.
First and foremost is hydration.
"Everyone will be out in the sun, so the major thing to be mindful of is hydration," said Washington Freedom trainer Sue Hammond, who also served as the trainer for the U.S. national team.
Though she stresses ice-cold water is the way to go, she says "anything wet" will do as well, although she warns against too much caffeine.
"Any of your sports drinks with a few electrolytes are good, too," she said.
So grab a sports bottle, fill it with water or "something wet," and take it along.
Secondly, make sure you minimize your presence in direct sunlight. If you are going to be outside for an extended amount of time, there are a few things you should invest in.
"Definitely use your sunscreen," Hammond said. "(The Freedom) uses 45. Anything over 30 is good. Also use some kind of shade, whether it's a baseball cap or an umbrella."
Hammond recommends that if you notice any unusual skin markings, to get them checked out by a physician immediately.
Finally, she suggests confining your activities to the times of day when the sun is not at its full strength, such as early morning or late afternoon.
"Go golf, play tennis, ride your bike, or whatever you choose to do in the morning when the sun is not so strong," she said. "Play a variety of sports or go on fun outings and get the whole family involved."