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Getting the Most of the Season

Ann Morley, OTR/L, CLT Rehabilitation Services, Southwest Health

Summer is a much-anticipated time of year, especially in Wisconsin, where there’s so much to enjoy. We wait all year to get outside to enjoy the warm weather and all of the fun activities that come along with it. Whether you are hiking the Big M, boating on a lake, attending a Brewer’s Game, or picking up fresh produce at a farmers’ market, you can take steps to help you get the most of the season.

The summer heat can put you at risk for dehydration or heat exhaustion if you’re too busy enjoying the weather and not paying attention to your body’s cues to stay hydrated. Keep this information in mind before enjoying the warm weather.

  • Keep lots of water close. You’re more likely to sip on ice-cold water when it’s next to you. The CDC recommends drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, but if you’re sweating heavily or being active, plan on drinking more to replenish what your body is sweating out.
  • Stay informed about upcoming heat advisories so you can prepare for upcoming warm days. On especially hot days, pull the curtains in your home to keep the heat away. If you don’t have access to air conditioning, create a plan of where you can go. Local multiplicities like libraries are a great option.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, including sun shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses, rather than dark-colored clothing. The dark colors are more likely to absorb heat and overheat you faster than wearing breathable, light-colored clothing.

One of the best parts of summertime is getting your hands dirty in the garden and seeing the fruits of your labor bloom. But sometimes, working for an extended time on your hands and knees can really take a toll on your back and joints. Having a beautiful yard doesn’t have to cause your body pain!

  • Use a knee pad when you’re working outside. This cushion can provide some relief to your knees and back. Keep this pad with your other gardening tools, so you don’t forget to use it.
  • Stretch your back when you start to feel tightness. Rolling your shoulders back and moving your body will help eliminate any built-up pressure.

A great and accessible option for enjoying the warm weather is swimming! Being in the water is great for joints and reduces strain on the body while doing a low-impact exercise. If you don’t have a pool, get a pool pass near you. There are often exercise classes in the pool you can join.

Summertime is a fun time of year, but if you’re not taking care of your body and doing exercises and activities that are kind to your body, you may not get the most out of the season.