The summer active season is in full force. Increased numbers of runners, bikers and outdoor enthusiasts are roaming the Kansas City area. After an endlessly rainy May, everyone has been enjoying the relief this past month. Trail runners and mountain bikers have been let back on all of the trails and triathlon and marathon training season is calling people outside. From rain, we skipped to near 100 degree temperatures so I thought it was important to review basic summer safety tips for the whole family.
1. If you are outside, WEAR SUNSCREEN! It's one of the easiest ways to protect yourself against skin cancer. Remember that on cloudy days, you can still get scorched.
2. For every hour you are outside, you should be drinking 16-20 ounces. If you are training for an endurance event, you should be drinking more than that and with some electrolytes (i.e. Gatorade, Tailwind, etc.).
3. Wear a hat. If you like to get in the woods where it is shady, beware of bugs, especially ticks! A hat can protect your head as you are rubbing against any brush and it will protect your face from the sun and keep you cooler.
4. Wear some for of ID. You may carry your Driver's License but a much more effective way to carry your information is on a RoadID. You can list your name, city of residency, a couple of emergency contacts and any allergies you have in case of an emergency. You should also tell at least one person that you are headed out and provide directions to where you are going.
5. If you are prone to mosquito bites, I have found a great natural solution for you. Well... maybe it wasn't an original idea, but it IS natural and not toxic like deet, which is in most bug repellents. Anyway, go to a local plant store and purchase a citronella plant. If you have ever been around a citronella candle, you will immediately recognize the smell of the plant when you find it. As it grows, snip off a leaf, roll it around in your hands, and rub the oil that is on your hands on your skin. It is not toxic and smells much, much better.
Be safe out there and get as much fresh air as you can!