10 Tips to Beat the Summer Heat


No matter where you live, the energy crunch will affect you all over the summer. The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body!

 

 

Schedule physically strenuous activities for cooler times. And yes, that includes walking around the theme parks. Walking around in the heat and humidity can make ALL parts of your body sweat, and that includes your poor feet. When feet are wet, blisters can develop, so try to wear socks that are not 100 percent cotton. If you feel a hot spot developing, find a place in the shade to sit down. Take off your shoe and sock and inspect your feet. Put a bandage on the tender area, and let your feet dry. Dry feet are happy feet!



Dress in light, loose, cotton clothing. Natural fabrics like cotton are much cooler than most synthetics (though there are new high-tech synthetics made specifically to keep you cool). Protective hats (Wide-brimmed) keep the sun out of your eyes and provide some cooling shade. Loose fitting clothes allow air to circulate, keeping you cooler. The fewer clothes, the better, but make sure to be appropriate to the circumstances




Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels). You can get painful sunburn even on a cloudy day, so slather on the sunscreen every morning before you start out. Don't forget lips, ears, back of neck.





When working outside, take periodic rest breaks in a cool area. So relax, slow down, pace yourself.



Drink, drink, drink - WATER and Non-Alcoholic drinks!! DON'T wait until you feel thirsty -STAY HYDRATED. In hot weather, as much as 3-4 quarts per day are recommended while exercising. Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer. Food should be safe as long as the outage lasts NO MORE than 4-6 hours. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which are diuretics -- substances that increase water loss via the urine.


Sport drinks, such as Gatorade, are high in sodium and are only needed if you exercise (or work) hard and long. Water-filled fruits and vegetables add to your hydration level, but not in significant amounts.



Never leave children or pets inside a car, even if the windows are open.



 


If you are taking medication, ask your doctor about its side-effects. Be extra cautious in the sun/heat if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other medical conditions. Also be extra careful if you are taking any medications. For instance, certain medications (like some antibiotics, NSAIDS [such as ibuprofen and aspirin], and some oral contraceptives), may make you sunburn more easily, so be sure to protect yourself and stay out of the sun as much as possible.






Keep cool with fans, air conditioning, and cool baths or showers. Make your own air conditioner by placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan and letting it blow on you. Window fans work best when blowing air out, so put your fan on the sunny side of the apartment and let it expel the hot air while pulling cool air from open windows on the shady side. Keep shades or curtains pulled on the sunny side of the house.





Get plenty of sleep and eat light, nutritious, and non-fatty meals. Eat foods high in water content, like fruits & vegetables. Don't use your oven, use the microwave or a toaster oven. Better yet, eat out.


 



Be aware that when active in a hot, dry climate -- for example when playing tennis --
both salt and water are lost in sweat. Under such conditions restriction of dietary salt by healthy individuals may be unwise. However, salt tablets are rarely necessary.

 

 

Dated 25 May 2009


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