Team building doesn't have to be structured and run through business channels. In fact employee wellbeing comes in all kinds of guises so here's some advice on helping your employees enjoy the hot weather we're experiencing.
With temperatures almost hitting a staggering 35 degree here in Bristol we started thinking about being outdoors and the dangers that being too hot can bring. In the UK we're often more concerned with keeping dry and warm so we thought it would help if we compiled some top tips and best advice for surviving if you're heading into the mountains this week.
1. Start Early
Early mornings in the outdoors are wondrous. Whether you're trekking or mountain biking it can be the best time of day to enjoy these special environments. If you start early enough it can also mean that you'll miss the hottest part of the day - around midday. You should be able to climb most mountains before lunch leaving the afternoon for the mad dogs and Englishmen.
2. Cover Up
This may seem a little counterintuitive, but long sleeves and a hat are actually your friend it the hot weather. The more of your body you can shield from the sun, the better. Loose-fitting long sleeves and trousers with a wide-brimmed hat will do wonders on a summer hike. Remember to shield your eyes with some UV-blocking sunglasses and slather that sunscreen on every exposed part of your body – especially if you’re hiking at altitude. The sun is stronger up there and you’ll get burned faster – even more so if you’re constantly sweating it all off.
Pretty obvious but remember that your body can be losing between 1 and 2 lire an hour so it's vitally important. Be sure to bring more water than you think you’d need – and remember to sip often. BONUS PRO-TIP: When you’re done sipping from a hydration bladder, blow back into the mouth piece so the water doesn’t stay in the drinking tube. Beats getting a drink of hot, sun-soaked water on your next sip. It's also worth pre-hydrating - make sure you drink enough water the day before and in the morning before you leave.
4. Stay Salty
It’s not enough to replace the water your body’s losing – you also have to rebalance those electrolytes while you’re at it. Sodium and potassium are the two big ones you’ll need to make sure you don’t run out of energy - pack some electrolyte drink mixes or tabs with your drinking water.
5. Remember to Rest
While you’re eating those snacks and sipping that water, why not also find some time to sit down in the shade? Chilling out for a bit will give your muscles a chance to recover and also give your sweat some time to evaporate and cool down your body temperature.
6. Bring extra socks
When hiking in hot weather, take an extra pair of of socks. Even if you don’t usually have a problem with blisters, if it's hot your feet are going to seat more than usual. When you feel hot spots in your boots - take a break in the shade and swap socks.
7. Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
When your core body temperature gets too high, you run the risk of suffering from heat stroke – a potentially lethal condition. The most common early signs are:
– Throbbing headache
– Muscle cramps
– Disorientation or confusion
– Lack of sweating, despite hot temperatures
If you or someone in your group thinks you’re getting heat stroke – stop, find shade, and cool down ASAP. Immediately start planning on getting off the hill and to medical attention - don’t hesitate to call emergency services..
8. Check the Weather
Although skies may be clear in the city, the mountains can make their own weather. Often when it’s very hot – the mountains can trigger surprise downpours - as ever - be prepared for all weathers when you head out.
9. Choose wisely
Pick a route that is achievable before 12. Also, one that offers shade and water sources. It's importantant to keep out of direct sunlight and also to be able to cool yourself down - Soaking your t-shirt in cold mountain water and then putting it back on or over your head can work winders.
Thanks to Mountain Hiker.