Okay, so it's gettin' a little warm outside. Here are a few tips that I use to help get me through a hot Florida summer day's ride, and it will help you have a good time riding in the warm summer weather!
Hydrate! Drink, drink drink. Begin hydrating your by increasing fluids a week before you plan your strenuous outdoor activity. Stay away from caffeinated drinks. Water and sports drinks are the way to go.
Wear Light Colored Clothing! Now's the time to stay away from the dark colors. the lighter the better. Also, keeping an extra jersey or shirt in your fanny pack or tail pack will give you a good, cool feeling just changing! I even have "summertime" riding jersey's where I cut the sleeves to ¾ length, and put a slit down each side of the jersey to aid in ventilation.
Hydrate! Drink plenty of fluids for a week before, and the morning of the activity. Drink plenty of fluids during the activity, drink plenty of fluids after the activity. Most of all drink even when you're not thirsty.
Please, please read and understand the following information from the American Red Cross. Not only for your benefit, but possibly for someone you're riding with. Let's start with some definitions:
Heat Cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. They usually involve the abdominal muscles or legs. It is generally thought that the loss of water from heavy sweating causes cramps.
Heat Exhaustion typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in warm, humid places where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim's condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
Heat Stroke is life threatening. The victim's temperature control system stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
Heat Exhaustion: Cool , moist, pale, or flushed skin; heavy sweating, headache; nausea and vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
Heat Stroke: Hot, red skin; changes in consciousness, rapid, weak pulse, rapid weak breathing. Body temperature can be as high as 105F If the person was sweating from heavy work or exercise, skin may be wet, otherwise it will feel dry.
Heat Cramps: Get the person to a cooler place and have him rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and replenish fluids. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. DO NOT give liquids with alcohol or caffeine, as they may make conditions worse. Heat Exhaustion: Get the person out of the heat and into a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool wet cloths. If the person is conscious, give cool water to drink. half a glass every 15 minutes. NO ALCOHOL OR CAFFEINE.
Heat Stroke: Is Life Threatening! Help is needed fast. Move person to a cooler place, quickly cool the body. Immerse person in cool bath or fan them. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the person any way you can. If victim refuses water, is vomiting, or there are changes in consciousness, do not give anything to drink.
Wear light colored clothing, drink plenty of liquids, drink often, even if you don't feel thirsty. Drink, drink, drink.
Visit the SOUTHERN DUAL SPORTING NEWSLETTER and WDSRC Website by going to http://www.geocities.com/Baja/Canyon/5245
Enjoy The Day, Ride Smart.