Summer’s here! With it come backyard barbecues, pool time, and some fun in the sun. Unfortunately, for those of us that are intolerant of excess heat, all of this outdoor opportunity can be a drag. Summer is a sweaty time that many of us endure on our way to cooler fall temperatures; how can we find a way to enjoy all of this extra sunshine and vibrant weather without getting too uncomfortable?
Follow these simple and easy tips for cooling off, protecting yourself from the sun’s hot rays, and having a bit of fun outdoors, even in steamy weather:
- Wear the right clothing
Nothing makes summer temperatures more uncomfortable than wearing the wrong clothes. Long sleeves and pants, non-breathable fabrics, and dark colors can all add heat and increase the production of sweat, as skin is no longer able to breathe and release trapped heat. Abandon those tennis shoes in favor of something cooler when it gets hot outside; a pair of women’s comfortable sandals can be a lifesaver in warm weather. You may feel self-conscious about donning shorts and tank tops this season, but comfort is preferred over looking sharp when you’re out and about.
- Use UV reflective hats and sunglasses
Your head takes a beating in the summer as the sun’s rays shine down with their glorious heat. Few of us realize how damaging this UV light can be to our eyes; shielding yourself from a bit of this brightness with the right hat and sunglasses will help to deflect both heat and light away from your face, helping to cool you more efficiently.
- Stay hydrated
One danger we all face with the advent of warmer temperatures is an increased risk for heatstroke. Heatstroke is dangerous in that it can cause fluctuating blood pressure, excessive heat that may lead to loss of consciousness, and severe dehydration. To decrease your risk of succumbing to excessively hot temperatures, drink plenty of water. Aim for at least half your body weight in ounces daily, and consider increasing your intake if you will be participating in strenuous activity. Do what you can to cool your body from the inside, and you’ll be less susceptible to temperatures on the outside.
- Have cooling towels and cooling fans
Nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting at a summertime parade drenched in sweat. Bringing along cooling towels and a cooling fan will significantly improve your outdoor conditions; pack the towels in some ice water before you participate in any outdoor event, and you’ll be surprised at how comfortable you can be outdoors.
- Eat light
Your body works hard to digest food; the higher the amount of dense food, the harder your digestive system works to ensure it gets appropriately metabolized. One thing you can do to reduce body temperature is by eating quick exit foods—fresh produce, salads, light soups, and lots of liquid will not put too much stress on your digestive system, allowing you to remain cool at mealtime and beyond.
Summer may not be your favorite season, but with a little bit of planning and some strategically placed ice chips, you can weather the season with a lot of grace and a little bit of sweat. Now get out there and enjoy some sunshine!