What are the things you love to do when hot summer weather finally gets here? Take road trips? Go swimming? Head out for a boat ride, perhaps?
For a lot of us, an ice chest full of libations comes standard on many of these summertime outings. And let’s be honest. Cocktails, beer and wine go with summer like fireworks and baseball. But imbibing means you might be better off enjoying the pyrotechnics and America’s pastime from the sidelines. A lot of popular summer activities don’t mix well with alcohol if you want to avoid injury or legal troubles. Here are five reasons why:
You gotta stay hydrated. Summer is perfect for hiking, bicycling and lots of other sweaty fun. Not only will alcohol hasten dehydration, it could make it harder to recognize the symptoms. Even sunning by the pool puts you at risk, so drink lots of water if you’re in the sunshine and lay off the booze altogether if you’re being active. Bring along water and sports drinks for volleyball, softball and the like and save the hooch for post-game.
Swim like a fish; don’t drink like one. Alcohol frequently plays a part in accidents in the water. Booze impairs your depth perception and your reaction time. Drowning is an increased danger when you mix swimming with alcohol. And diving after drinking is a horrible idea. A lot of ugly injuries happen when people misjudge the depth of water and dive in head-first.
Stay docked, Captain Morgan. You wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car after drinking. Why would you operate a boat? The Coast Guard says that over half of Americans killed in boating accidents die as the result of drinking and boating. A BAC as low as .03 can impair balance, eyesight and judgment, so content yourself with being a passenger. And don’t even think of getting on those Jet Skis.
Keep your cool. Did you know that alcohol tinkers with the body’s temperature? You might feel warm and fuzzy, but your mind and your body are playing tricks on you. Don’t get too much sun, and don’t forget the sunscreen. Maybe there’s a good reasons you don’t see St. Bernards with little barrels of brandy around their necks unless you’re in a blizzard.
Cloudless skies, clouded judgment. Even one drink affects your ability to make decisions. If you’re sitting in the hot sun and you don’t recognize when it’s time to apply more sunscreen or drink more water, you’re going to regret it later. As you know, a lot of things seem like great ideas when you’ve been drinking. May of them turn out to be embarrassing memories later (if you can remember them at all).
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