How to Ride Safe This Summer: Your Health

Posted by Lisa DiFalco on

 How to Ride Safe This Summer: Your Health

Any healthy person may become dehydrated or suffer from heat exhaustion during the summer. Those with existing health conditions may be particularly vulnerable. However, a few extra precautions can make it possible to ride a Harley-Davidson® in the summer while avoiding potential heat-related health issues.

Use the following summer riding tips to safeguard your well-being today.

Even Tough Guys Get Heat Stroke

It doesn’t pay to set out for the day without adequate preparation. It is important to know the signs of heat stroke and take steps to avoid it. Some initial signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion include:

  • Dizziness;
  • Flushed or pale skin;
  • Heavy sweating;
  • Headaches;
  • Extreme fatigue;
  • Nausea; and
  • Cramps.

This is not the state in which you want to continue riding. Pull over and take time to rest and recover. Rehydrate and allow your body to cool down. While you may worry about inconveniencing fellow riders, those riders would prefer that you do not end up in the ER. Those who develop heat stroke can find that their body is unable to cool itself down and some serious symptoms include difficulty breathing or an erratic pulse, with consequences such as brain damage for those that do not get the help they need when symptoms progress.

How Motorcyclists Can Avoid Heat Stroke and Other Heat-Related Conditions

You might not be a big water drinker but in extreme heat, you may need to down more water than you think possible. As much as 1 liter of water may need to be consumed every hour when riding in high temperatures. During the summer, people sweat more. Some may choose to replace vital minerals lost while sweating with a beverage containing electrolytes.

Plan more stops along your route. Getting into a cooler environment can provide an opportunity for the body to recover. These short stops can make it possible to ride in the worst heat, when no other alternative is possible. Some may also choose to set out earlier in the day or ride later on in the afternoon to avoid the most brutal part of the day.

Dress for the heat. This means making sure to cover the skin with fabric to support the body’s natural cooling processes. More skin exposure is related to a higher rate of dehydration. Some may choose to wear mesh ventilated clothing, or a cooling vest, in temperatures in excess of 90 degrees. There are a variety of garments available that can make it more comfortable to ride during the summer.

Mindful Preparation Makes for Better Health Outcomes

Know your body and whether or not certain health conditions or symptoms may be exacerbated by high heat. Try not to take on your first long ride during the dog days of summer. Speak up when riding in a group in instances such as when you begin to get a headache or feel dizzy when it is hot out. Don’t keep quiet as symptoms can continue to progress without intervention.

How do you keep cool when riding on hot summer days? Comment below, email or tweet @DiagnosticaNews.


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