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The number one way to stay cool this summer: Stay inside




But if you can’t, or you just don’t want to, we have some tips for you. And since this is Bentonville, these are definitely MTB friendly.


Summer is upon us, and with temperatures soaring ever higher every year, cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke are expected to rise until the appearance of cooler temperatures in early Autumn. So if you are going to ride your bike, follow these tips to stay cool and stay safe this season.


 

EXERCISE EARLY: Even in August, you can be sure the temperatures are cooler earlier in the day. 6:00 is not too early. Summer sunrises mean it’s daylight around 5:45. You can get your ride or run in early, and be done for the day before most people are even awake.


STAY HYDRATED: Don’t just pack two bottles on your frame and call it good. Take sips all day. The old advice of 8 cups a day has fallen out of favor, and the advice now is to drink to your thirst. If you find you must constantly stop to gulp on the trail, you may not be drinking enough throughout the day. 


GO TO THE WOODS: Shade is your friend this time of year. Even in the heat of the day, being among the trees will provide much-needed relief from the unrelenting heat. 


ACCLIMATE YOURSELF SLOWLY: Start by gradually spending more and more time outside each day, early in the season. Get used to the temps early, and as they climb your body will be better able to tolerate the heat. 


 

KNOW THE SIGNS OF HEAT DISTRESS: According to the Mayo Clinic, “heatstroke signs and symptoms include:


  • High body temperature. A core body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher, obtained with a rectal thermometer, is the main sign of heatstroke.

  • Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.

  • Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.

  • Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.

  • Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.

  • Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.

  • Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.

  • Headache. Your head may throb.



 

If you think a person may be experiencing heatstroke, seek immediate medical help. Call 911 or your local emergency services number.


Take immediate action to cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency treatment.

  • Get the person into shade or indoors.

  • Remove excess clothing.

  • Cool the person with whatever means available — put in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person's head, neck, armpits and groin.”

(this section taken directly from the Mayo Clinic website.)


With Bentonville being the self-proclaimed "mountain bike capital of the world”, asking us to stay indoors this summer is downright unreasonable!


Keep these tips in mind as you plan your outings, stay safe, stay hydrated, and stay cool.


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