How to Beat the Heat – Staying Cool During Summer Heatwaves
As temperatures heat up across the country and we find ourselves in a heatwave, it’s more important than ever to stay cool and beat the heat. Here are five tips you can use to make sure you and your family stay safe during the hottest days of summer.
Dress the part – Wear light clothing that breathes easy. Most experts advise on wearing cotton. There are new clothing products on the market that help to keep you cool and wick moisture away. Check out your local sporting goods store. Wearing light colored clothing helps to reflect the sun away. Stay away from dark color clothes which could make you warmer.
Take it slow – It is recommended that on really hot days that you limit your physical activity outdoors. Especially during the hottest times of the day. If you normally exercise outdoors, it’s wise on these hot days to move that to either early morning or very late in the evening. If you have to be outside, slow down and take your time.
Stay hydrated – Keep a bottle of water with you on those really hot days. You are going to lose a lot of water through sweating when temperatures rise. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, freeze a bottle of water then keep it with you during the day. The ice will slowly melt leaving you ice cold water to enjoy.
Stay inside – If your house has air conditioning stay inside to keep cool. If you don’t have an air conditioner head out for the day, go to the mall, a movie, or you public library.
Eat less – Many of us accustomed to eating healthy already eat smaller more frequent meals during the day. During the hottest days of the year spread your meals out and eat less but more frequently. If you eat too much and then get hot you run the risk of getting sick, and then possibly dehydrating from being sick.
Heat related injuries happen when the body can no longer keep itself cool On really hot and humid days the body can really struggle to keep cool. The humidity will make it harder for the body to stay cool because sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly. Certain groups of people are also more at risk to heat related injuries such as the elderly, children, infants, and those with chronic illnesses. Be a good neighbor and check in on your neighbors during these hot days to make sure they are coping well.
According to the Red Cross there are three categories of heat-related illness.
Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.
Heat Cramps – Heat cramps happen due to a loss of fluids and a loss of electrolytes. Symptoms of heat cramps involve muscle cramping and aching. This is an early sign that the body is having a hard time coping with the heat.
Heat Exhaustion – Happens during strenuous exercise or other activities in hot and humid conditions. Symptoms are: pale or flushed skin, excessive sweating, headache, nausea, weakness, and exhaustion.
Heat Stroke – Heat strokes are life threatening. A person suffering from heat stroke no longer has the ability to keep themselves cool. The bodies mechanisms that regulate temperature have shut down and are no longer functioning. Signs of heat stroke are changes in consciousness, dry skin, vomiting, and high body temperature.