Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of all of the outdoor activities, but you need to be careful in the heat. Heat exhaustion can hit you faster than you think. Stay cool and hydrated while you have fun in the sun.
- Water, water, water
- Drink Water: the number one way to stay cool is to be hydrated. It’s easy to quickly lose a lot of water between sweating, breathing, what we eat, and other bodily functions. Keep a water bottle nearby and sip on it all day. Drinking a large amount of water all at once will simply pass through you. Your body needs time to absorb water. Drink small amounts often throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Play in Water: Get in the pool, ocean, river, lake, or any other large body of water. Play in the sprinklers, or splash some cool water on your face and neck to cool down quick.
- Cooling Towels: There are specially designed towels that hold on to water and don’t heat up fast. Dab this towel on your head and forehead to reduce your body temperature immediately. A single soaked towel can keep working up to 4 hours.
- Shade: Finding a little bit of shade can help you enjoy the outdoors longer. The shade isn’t technically cooler, even though you may feel 10-15 degrees cooler. By getting out of the sun, you are avoiding radiant heat created from the sun’s rays. Solar radiation can make the air feel hotter, and cause your body temperature to rise dramatically. Find natural shade in trees and covered awnings, or create your own by wearing hats. Staying out of the direct sunlight, you’ll also prevent issues like sunburn.
- Early Hours/Late Hours: Instead of doing all of your outdoor activities in the middle of the day, wait to do them in the morning or in the evening. Stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day, and come out while it’s still cool for the morning and as the sun goes down. You can still do all of the things that you love like gardening, exercising, sightseeing, and more during these hours. You’ll be smarter about how you get your outdoor time in, and avoid the problematic heat.
- Breathable Clothes: The clothes that you wear can dramatically change how you feel. Cotton and other breathable, lightweight materials are best for the summer months. Silk, polyester, Rayon, and wool are excellent fabrics, but they don’t let the air pass through them as easily. You want something that will absorb sweat, and allow it to evaporate from your body while you are outside. You don’t want to hold on to your body heat when it’s warm outside. Make sure you stay cool by wearing things that are loose fitting and comfortable.
- Breeze: We all know that fantastic feeling when a nice breeze hits us when we are hot. Take advantage of the natural breeze by avoiding areas that are in valleys, or surrounded by tall structures. The wind will either be blocked or will bypass these areas leaving you stiflingly hot. You can also create your own breeze with handheld fans or ceiling fans. As the air passes over your body, it pushes the body heat away from you, and dries the sweat that is on you, making you feel cool.
The outdoors is fun, but be safe in the heat. The heat can creep up on you and cause major health problems. Use all of these technique to stay comfortable during the hot summer months. You’ll feel better, get all of the outside fun that you want, and stay safe.