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Sun, heat and hydration: Staying safe outside

COMMERCE CITY, CO - APRIL 21: David Beckham #23  of the Los Angeles Galaxy hydrates prior to playing Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on April 21, 2012 in Commerce City, Colorado.
COMMERCE CITY, CO - APRIL 21: David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy hydrates prior to playing Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on April 21, 2012 in Commerce City, Colorado. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Summertime provides ample opportunity for fitness. Outdoor enthusiasts, be aware, though, as summertime also increases some health risks…

Firstly - The sun. Going for a run, short or long, walking your dog, or working outside exposes your skin to harmful UV rays that can not only cause an uncomfortable burn, but greatly increases your risk of developing skin cancer, Mayo Clinic Staff says. Try to avoid the sunniest of hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mayo Clinic Staff says, and make sure to pack on the sun screen when you do venture outside.

Secondly - The heat. As temperatures soar in July and August, so does your risk of having a heat related illness. From heat cramps to heatstroke, hot weather poses a threat to your health, especially if you are taking advantage of the hot weather to get some exercise. To avoid heat related illnesses, be aware of the temperature outside and stay in if it’s too hot, Mayo Clinic Staff says. Also, dress appropriately. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes, Mayo Clinic Staff says.

Thirdly - the hydration. The hotter it is, the more you need to replenish your body. Sweating is a good thing - it cools down your core body temperature and keeps heat related illnesses at bay. To avoid dehydration, have cold water handy and be sure to drink it. Avoid sodas and alcoholic beverages and stick to water or sports drinks if you will be doing strenuous activity, Mayo Clinic Staff says.

Check out http://www.mayoclinic.org/ for more information on staying safe in the sun this summer, and don’t be afraid to enjoy the weather - just take care of yourself!