There is nothing that can ruin your summer fun quicker than becoming sick from high temperatures. Not all of us have access to the comforts of an air conditioner. There are steps you can take to ease the heat of the summer months. Here are my tips for staying cool this summer.
My first and favorite tip is to drink plenty of water. To remain hydrated is the most important advise I can give anyone this summer. I don’t mean drinks with water in them, I mean pure H2O. Soft drinks and alcohol do nothing to hydrate you. I have found that these products make me thirstier. To much corn sweetener can also make you sick to your stomach in the heat and alcohol will dehydrate you fast. So, stick with good old water for your drink of choice.
What you eat this summer is almost as important as what you drink. Eat light, heavy meals have a tendency to bloat your stomach, make you sluggish and slow you down. Cold foods like sandwiches, salads, pasta salads, ice cream (in moderation), fruits and veggies. I would go easy on the fruits, they have a tendency to give you diarrhea in the heat. Another good choice is cheese and crackers. These light food options will give you the energy you’ll need throughout the day.
Wear minimal clothing, starting with the feet. Your feet sweat, wear flip-flops or sandals. Closed-toe shoes don’t breath and they are even worse when worn with socks. Let your feet breath. Choose *cotton fabric* for your clothing. This article explains why. This also stands true in the South. It is one of the best, natural, breathable fabrics besides linen you can wear. I know there are other man-made fibers that claim superior breath-ability, but I have found cotton works the best for comfort in high humidity situations.
If you are trying to protect your head, stick with cotton coverage as well. Your scalp also needs to breathe. A cotton bandanna or ‘do-rag’ works well. If you want to forgo the head coverage, use a sunscreen or sunblock to protect your scalp from sunburns. This also goes without saying, use sunscreen or sunblock on your face, shoulders, neck and the tops of your feet. A sunburn will make you feel miserable and potentially damage your skin. Please see information on sun poisoning.
Another good tip is don’t stay in a hot house or vehicle. Get outside and find some shade. Click here to find out why? The temperature is considerably cooler under a big shade tree.
If you have access to power, AC or batteries, use portable fans. They draw very little power and keep the air circulating. You can purchase 12-volt traveling fans that will do the job. Get a couple if need be.
One last tip, soak a couple of pieces of paper towel or a hand towel in cool water and place it around your neck. This will instantly cool your body temperature down. Re-soak as needed.
These are things that I do on a daily basis when the temperature starts climbing. By no means am I a doctor or have had any medical training. However, I have lived in the deep south (Georgia) for 30 years and have experience and seen what heat exhaustion/heat stroke can do to the human body. It is not pretty and takes a long time to recover. Don’t take the heat lightly and you’ll be able to manage through the next heat wave that comes your way.
*If you feel you are in danger of heat-related sickness please see the nearest emergency room.*
For heat-related symptoms *Click Here* at the Mayo Clinic for medical advise.