Get outside, but also stay cool |

Get outside, but also stay cool

Susan Nichols-Alvis

It’s summer! Have your friends and you been talking about the heat, too? As I write this, it is 88 degrees outside.

What are your favorite summertime activities? Biking? Hiking? ATVing? A minimum of 30 minutes of biking each week offers protection against coronary artery disease, among other illnesses. Same with hiking.

And, because I’m a rider, and president of our local club, I’ve always been curious about ATV riding health benefits. I was quite surprised to learn riders’ use of oxygen increases by 3.5 to 5 times their level at rest. According to standards set by the American College of Sports Medicine, that constitutes moderately intense physical activity. The amount of work required in the upper body and arms, if practiced regularly (once or twice a week) was enough to increase muscle and skeletal fitness.

What does this have to do with insurance? Most of us know staying healthy keeps our insurance costs down.

Other ways to stay healthy is staying safe while we’re having fun. Helmets, protective padding, life jackets, sunscreen, and wide brimmed hats can help. A few years ago, I discovered sunglasses and goggles are the best while riding. Keeps my optometrist happy, too.

Do you know how to choose a child’s bicycle helmet? On their website, Safe Kids Worldwide outlines helmet fitting guidelines, among dozens of other safety tips.

Wear sunscreen at all times when outside, even if you’re in the shade because sun rays can reflect off a nearby pool or lake and onto your skin.

If you’re more into home workouts where it’s cooler, there are steps to take first. First, clear it with your doctor to choose types and intensity levels of exercise. Second scrutinize your workout space. Watch for low hanging items and ensure you have enough leg space. Coffee tables can be especially painful if they interrupt your lunge routine. To avoid injury, the most important thing you can do is warm up properly.

It’s so important for us to stay hydrated in this climate, especially in the summer. The most common number I’ve read is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So, a 150-pound person would want to drink at least 75 daily ounces.

Stay cool and see you on the trail.

Susan Nichols-Alvis is the owner of Nichols Insurance Agency in Rifle. You can reach her at 970-625-0411 or visit

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