How To Beat The Heat
Ahhhh Feels So Good To Cool Off
Beating The Heat Isn’t Easy
I live in an area of the United States where our weather is hot and dry for at least nine months out of a year. We currently get about 2-inches of rainfall annually and our temperatures may reach to 120 Fahrenheit at the peak of summer. Since I can’t stay inside all the time and I’m a “senior citizen,” those conditions can be very dangerous for me as well as others. So how do I beat the heat in the summer? I’ve noted a few of my strategies below for things I’ve done to help make my life easier until the arrival of Fall. Maybe you might find some of them useful.
Stay Hydrated, It’s The Body’s Cooling System
Staying hydrated is the body’s way of cooling itself. Without enough water, our body’s temperature can quickly go up. Whenever you go outside, always carry a bottle of water in your car, or in your hand if walking. An odd fact is that we don’t always feel thirsty during intense heat, and can quickly suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke before we know it. Don’t let it happen to you….make sure to drink lots of water while fighting off the effects of summer, even when you don’t feel thirsty.
Don’t think you can substitute just any liquid; soda pop contains sodium which will dry you out even further. Coffee and Tea are okay in moderation, but not as a substitute for plain water. Gatorade may be used, but again make sure you drink plain water as well. Average bodies contain 57% to 60% water according to current figures, but this can vary from person to person, depending on their overall health and diseases. From that percentage, we sweat and eliminate water from our bodies throughout a 24-hour day. Replacing that loss is very important, especially when you “don’t feel thirsty.” ALWAYS carry water with you, wherever you go!
Summer Sun Is Intense – Sun Adds To Your Body Heat
Protection From The Sun
Never go out into the sun without some sort of shield. An umbrella/parasol is ideal to keep your body shaded from the heat of the sun’s rays, especially for those who are on certain medications that particularly warn about sun exposure. A light colored umbrella/parasol works best, because it bounces the sun’s heat back into the sky, instead of keeping it in around your body. And yes, it does help to keep you a few degrees cooler. Every degree you can eliminate, so much the better for you. If you don’t care for the umbrella idea, it’s helpful to wear a hat that covers your head and shades your face.
Portable Sprayer/Fans – Carry One Everywhere You Go
Hot Town, Summer In The City – by Lovin’ Spoonful
I always think of this song during the summer heat.
Loose Clothing Helps
Thinner Materials Cool Quickly
Wear clothing that is loose and made from thin cotton. Acrylic fabrics hold heat in to your body, cotton does not and allows a natural cooling evaporation of perspiration. Buy loose cotton items when you can, to help you through the discomfort of summer heat. Loose clothing allows for air circulation, which is an important factor in comfort during high temperatures.
It’s True, It Does Help You Cool Off
Find a pan big enough for both your feet to fit in comfortably. Or if you have a foot bath, use it, but don’t heat the water. Grab a towel, fill the pan with cold tap water and head for your most comfy chair. Put the pan of water on the floor in front of the chair, hang the towel over the chair arm, and sink your feet into that blissfully cool water. Now relax, soak for 10 to 15 minutes or whatever you feel like. Doing this truly does help to cool you off. You can use any foot bath you have on hand, just don’t plug it in. You want nice cold water to sink those hot tootsies into. The same procedure works with your hands in the kitchen sink as long as the water is deep enough to cover your wrists.
Gotta Go Out? Wear A Hat!
If you have to go somewhere on short notice and you don’t have an umbrella with you, always have some sort of squashable, crushable, packable hat stuffed in your pocket or your purse. Shielding your head from the sun can help keep your body temperature down. It also protects your eyes if you get the kind with an overhanging brim.