Beat the Heat this Summer – Seven Tips
Keep your cool this summer…
There is no doubt this summer will be a HOT one.
Tips to beat the heat we knew was coming… The groundhog predicted way back in February, and his predictions are being confirmed as the whole country rushes to get their air conditioners back into working order. It just so happens these extreme global temperatures fall on the first day of summer, which is the day with the longest period of sunlight each year, also referred to as the summer soltice.
Take Advantage of the Sun: Click here!
This issue is not one to take lightly either – more people have died due to excessive heat than any other weather disasters (including floods!) Excessive heat is defined when the heat index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least two days. (from Red Cross) View their handy checklist for the basics on preparing for higher than normal temperatures.
Here’s a few tricks of my own to staying cool during the hot summer months…
Seven tips to beat the heat this summer:
1. DRINK LOTS OF WATER!
If you just don’t like water (I don’t, so I know the feeling) try sprucing it up a bit. Squeeze some lemon in it and get 200% of your daily vitamin C. Gatorade and Powerade are also great ways to keep your body fueled. They also sell single packets of drink mixes to add to your water… these are good, but stay away from the ones with the high sugar contents.
2. Eat more and eat smaller meals.
Food helps keep your body fueled and you will need to eat more to make up for the increase in temperature during the summer. Lean proteins, fruits and vegetables (especially dark, leafy greens), and simple carbohydrates. If you are doing work or activities that are more strenuous, you will need to adjust your diet accordingly.
This is especially true if you have any type of health problems. For me, my anemia is affected by the temperature and I have to take iron and B vitamin supplements more often. It will vary person to person, but if you are able to, a once-daily multi vitamin will be a great addition for anyone. Make sure you take supplement on a FULL stomach. Discuss options with your health care provider on your next visit.
4. Wear baggy, light colored clothing.
Dark colors, especially black, attract sunlight, so they will make your body temperature rise. Air will circulate better with loose fitting clothes.
Don’t forget your shades (sunglasses) and a hat for added sun protection (recommended!)
The higher SPF the better (especially in the Southern regions). Apply over ALL EXPOSED AREAS 15-30 minutes prior to exposure and reapply every hour if you are sweating a lot or swimming. If you are tanning (which is not healthy, but I am guilty of it) use a tanning oil with some SPF in it. This won’t make tanning safe, but will minimize some of the harmful rays you are exposed to while you are getting that golden glow we all love to get this time of year. And just because you’re cooling off in the water, doesn’t mean you are immune to the sun… water actually attracts light so you’re more likely to get sun burn while in the water.
6. Stay indoors.
Some days in Florida you have no choice. It is just too hot to be outside, so take the time to catch up on your cleaning or surf the web. There is no reason to risk heat stroke because your lawn is a little bit overgrown. Try to plan outdoor activities for early morning (before 11 am) or at dusk (after 6-7pm). Construction workers, the elderly most at risk for heat stroke.
7. Don’t ignore heat illness
If you feel weak or shaky, get inside, get cool, and drink some water!
Remember to take extra care with your pets this summer as well – they need plenty of water and shade, bring them indoors during hottest times of the day (12-4 pm) if possible. A garage with proper circulation will be just fine if they are not indoor animals.