When the final bell rings at all the schools this year, one thing will be a constant: outdoor activity and a hot summer sun. With temperatures hitting the mid 80’s in April, we are in for a hot and sticky summer. Throw in non-stop activity during the heat of the day and you have a potential recipe for disaster. Young ones thrive on playing as hard and fast as they can and are not always aware of how the environment is affecting them until it is too late. Parents and coaches also need to be aware that pushing their athletes too hard in our summer conditions can add a critical cost to victory. Preparation is paramount, but proper maintenance is also key to surviving our summer activities. Follow these few principles and you will find yourself claiming victory in more ways than one. 1.Fluid intake is critical. Prepared athletes begin hydrating themselves before they begin the activity. 2.Watch how you sweat. If you have stopped sweating but not stopped playing, you are dehydrated and danger is right around the corner. Sweating is how the body cools itself during the heat of the activity. 3.Fuel up before going out. Amidst all the fad diets that tell us to scrap this and cutout that, athletes must be aware that their body needs proper nourishment in order to sustain high levels of summer activity. Carbohydrates and proteins are great sources of fuel for the body. 4.Take breaks and keep hydrating throughout the activity. Maintenance is critical and a short rest followed by a water break will keep you going into overtime. 5.Don’t pour water over your head to cool off. Ever wonder why all the garden shows tell us not to water our yard during the hottest part of the day? It is because the high levels of heat evaporate the water more quickly and burn up the grass. The same goes for water on your head. The sun will cook your scalp as it evaporates the water at a quicker pace actually pushing you towards heat exhaustion instead of away from it. In the event you see someone succumb to the heat, act quickly or they could suffer the worst consequences. Have them lie down and put a cool wet towel on their forehead. If you cannot get them to sip some cold water, try rubbing ice on their lips. Prop up their feat and call authorities for assistance. Adhering to these simple principles and learning how to properly equip yourself will insure that we are all victorious during this summer season. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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