With kids being out of school and the vacation season arriving, summer is the time that we all anticipate, but we never seem ready for the extreme temperatures that come along. Staying cool is not just an issue of comfort, however; staying out in the raging heat can result in exhaustion, dehydration, heat cramps, and even heat stroke. During the hot season, it is important to stay cool and hydrated so that you can stay healthy and vibrant. Here are some ways to stay cool during the hot summer season:
1. Drink plenty of water. Drinking plenty of water or sports drinks keeps the body hydrated. On the other hand, caffeine and alcohol both dehydrate and should be avoided. Even if you are not working strenuously in the heat, it is still important to keep hydrated all day long.
2. Eat lighter meals. It’s a good excuse not to cook. Avoid hot, heavy meals. Eat lighter meals and frequent snacks, preferably something high in dairy and fruit products. Cold fruits, smoothies, and frozen treats are delightful, refreshing treats that are light but enjoyable.
3. Wear cooler, loose-fitting clothing. Light cotton material, preferably of a lighter color, is the smarter solution for summer fashion. Heavier, darker material absorbs and traps heat. Don’t torture yourself; go lighter.
4. Stay wet. Just keeping a damp cloth on the back of your neck, where the body’s temperature sensor is located, can keep you cooler. Keeping your hair damp, applying a wet bandanna, or using a misting fan also helps.
5. Bathe and wash in cold water. Most people favor hot showers, but cold showers during hot weather keeps your body cooler longer and can be very refreshing. Also, just washing your hands in cold water will reduce your temperature for a relatively long time.
6. Make good use of fans and air conditioning. That’s what they’re for. Stay indoors when the heat is unbearable and stay under a ceiling fan or near a portable fan. If you don’t have air conditioning, make a point to visit the library, shopping malls, and other air conditioned buildings.
7. Stay out of the sun. Just because it’s hot does not mean you should stay indoors all the time, but use wisdom when you’re outdoors. Stay in shaded areas and utilize cooler mornings and late afternoons for exercise, leisure, and playtime.