If you want to protect yourself from the summer heat but still have a great time outside, there are some different things you can do in order to enjoy all the warmth and sunshine while still keeping your risk of health problems relatively low. Of course, everyone is different and their tolerance for the heat and sunshine might not be the same as someone else. It’s important to understand your needs and your limits. It’s also important to talk with your doctor if you have medical conditions that could be affected by the heat. While you’re at it, consider these seven tips to help you have fun safely.
1). Stay away from exercising during peak hours
There’s nothing wrong with getting some exercise. It can be very healthy, and can also be a good way to get outside and enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer. But during the peak hours of the summer heat, it can get very hot outside. If you live in a humid climate, that can make the heat feel worse and can also make it harder to get cooled down. The sweat you work up won’t evaporate as quickly, and that can lead to getting overheated faster. Instead of taking those kinds of risks, work out in the early morning or in the evening, when it’s cooler outside.
2). Drink plenty of fluids – Stay hydrated
Even if you’re busy working or having fun, you’ll want to stop and drink plenty of water. There are other options, of course, but water is going to be the best choice. That way you’re not getting a lot of caffeine or sugar, but you are getting fluids. You can get dehydrated very easily on a hot day, and that can lead to headaches, nausea, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. It can also cause an irregular heartbeat in some people. To keep your risk of health problems lower, make sure you drink fluids frequently and consistently throughout the day.
3). Wear a hat and stay away from the sun (find shading)
With a good hat with a broad brim and a shady spot to sit in, you can be a lot cooler than you would in the sunshine with nothing covering your head. If you have to choose between a hat or shade, both of them will work fairly well. It comes down to which you have available and which you’re most comfortable with, because those things both matter. If you choose the hat, pick one that covers your head and provides shade to your face, to keep you cooler and protect your skin as much as possible. If you seek shade, make sure you aren’t inside a place with poor air flow, which can make it feel even hotter.
4). Sunscreen should be your best friend, apply and reapply
Even if the day is cloudy or you don’t think you’ll be outside that long, put on your sunscreen. Make sure you do it a few minutes before going outdoors, in order to let it soak in before your sun exposure. Also be sure to apply it liberally, and reapply it often. That’s especially true if you sweat a lot or if you’ve been swimming, but it’s important even if you don’t do either one of those things. Take your sunscreen with you, and put it on frequently like you would with lotion to soften your skin. Whether you tan easily or not, protecting your skin from the sun is important.
5). Loose and light color clothing can make a big difference
If you wear tight clothing, especially if that clothing is dark, you’ll feel hotter and more uncomfortable. Wear things that fit more loosely to allow for good airflow, so the sweat on your skin can evaporate and help keep you cooler. Also choose light colors, because they work better at keeping your body temperature down. Light colored clothing doesn’t absorb heat the way dark clothing will, so you will stay cooler if you are wearing white or something else that’s light. If you don’t have anything light colored or loose fitting, it may be time for a few new summer outfits.
6). Eat fruits and vegetables as well as low-fat meats
Fruits and vegetables are great choices in the summertime, along with low-fat meats. There is a lot of water content in most fruit, and the same is true for vegetables, too. They are also lower in calories, so you won’t overeat and then feel miserable when you get warm. By choosing low-fat meats you can further reduce the risk of that bloated feeling, and your body won’t have to work nearly as hard to digest what you’re consuming. That can give you the chance to play outdoors longer, and help reduce your chance for heat related health problems.
7). Know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion
Even with the utmost care and the best of intentions, you can still get overheated. If you don’t know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, you should learn them before you really start having summer adventures. That will help keep you safer, and let you get help if you start to get into trouble with the heat. Look specifically for rapid breathing and a racing heart, flushed skin, nausea, a headache, and a lack of sweating. A body temperature over 104 and altered behavior or mental state are also important signs to watch out for. If you notice these things happening to someone, get them to a cooler place and seek help.