Golf is great exercise—especially when you’re walking—but when you’re playing on hot summer days, you’ve got to be careful not to overheat. Even if you’re a healthy adult, you need to stay hydrated and know your limits—because heat exhaustion and heat stroke can strike anyone, at any age.
Here are five good tips for making sure your next golf outing is both fun and safe:
Drink water. This one seems obvious, but you might be surprised at how often people play dehydrated. Especially if you’re drinking alcohol or caffeine while you play, you’ve got to make sure that you’re also getting plenty of water. Cold water will help your body cool down faster. And it’s always important to drink before you get thirsty.
Avoid dark clothing. Dark clothes will make your body heat up faster, as they absorb more heat from the sun. Instead, wear white or light colored clothing to stay cooler. You can also get special golf shirts that are designed to help sweat evaporate more quickly, which will keep you dry. Just make sure you keep drinking water to replace the fluid your body is losing.
Wear sun protection. Even if you have a darker complexion, sunscreen is still a good idea. Spending hours outside during a hot summer day can dry out anyone. Sunscreen will help keep your skin from burning, which helps your body maintain a healthy temperature. You’ll also be happy you wore it once your round is over!
Bring a towel. Having a towel is a great way to wipe away excess moisture, but if you have a damp towel, it’s also a great way to cool down. You can even buy special athletic towels that are designed to retain moisture for hours, which means you’ll always have something cool to wipe off with.
Know your limits. Especially if you’re a senior golfer, don’t push yourself too far. You’re playing to have fun after all. If you start feeling lightheaded or disoriented, sit down immediately (try to find some nearby shade), and drink some water or a sports drink. Let other players know you aren’t feeling well so they can keep an eye on you, and never hesitate to get medical attention if you think you might need it.
That’s it! Follow these helpful tips and you won’t have to worry about any heat-related ailments on the golf course. Have fun this summer on the links, but always remember: stay hydrated!