by Kimberly Blackford
Temperatures have reached record highs and there is no sign of cooler temperatures ahead. Severely high temperatures can result in heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even worse - a heat stroke. Do not let the heat beat you, but rather beat the heat with these tips to keep you cool all summer.
- Avoid going outside and exerting yourself during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m.-4 p.m.). If you must work out try and take advantage of the cooler times of the day (early morning or late evening).
- If you can, stay in the shade as much as possible whether under a tree, umbrella or patio.
- While you are outside, wear light colored loose-fitted clothing. Black or dark colors are the worst to wear when it is hot outside because black absorbs the most heat.
- Apply sunscreen whenever you are outside. This will protect your skin from absorbing too much sun and burning.
- Drink plenty of water along with sports drinks while you are outdoors to fight dehydration and replenish electrolytes. Avoid caffeine and alcohol because they will promote dehydration.
- If you know you are going to be outside for an extended period of time, freeze a plastic water bottle and grab it when you go outside. The ice will melt throughout the day, and you will have a reserve of cold water.
- Your wrist and neck are cooling “pulse points” where you can feel your pulse because your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin. Because they are so close, you can cool off your blood and body temperature easier on these points. Freeze a bandana or something to put on these “pulse points."
- Having AC on in the home does keep your house cool, but having fans on as well can help circulate air better and make the home feel even cooler.
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- Close the blinds in sunny rooms of your home. Closing the blinds along with fans and AC will cool down your home significantly.
- Take baths or showers with cool or lukewarm water. This will cool your natural body temperature down after a long day of being outside in the heat.
- Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer foods such as cold fruit or low fat dairy products. You won't have to cook next to a hot stove then.
- When it is hot outside, eat small meals and eat more often because the more you eat the more heat you generate.
- Freeze your fruit as a substitute for chewing or sucking on ice. It is a tastier snack and will keep you cool.
- Lastly, use good reasoning. If the heat is unbearable, stay inside and avoid activities in direct sunlight so you do not suffer from heat cramps, heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
Do not let the high temperatures ruin your summer or cause you to get sick. Follow these guidelines to remain cool all summer long.
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