By Rebecca Fending
Summer can be the best or the worst for many of us. Whether you love the beach or prefer your sun room, summer rays don’t discriminate between its heatstroke victims. While there are many ways to stay cool in summer, find what works best for you. Learn how to keep yourself cool and protected this summer to safely live your life to the fullest.
Limit Your Sun Time
The best way to keep yourself safe from heatstroke, heat exhaustion, or sun poisoning is by limiting your overall time in the sun. Keep your sun exposure to half hour increments to rule out higher chances of overheating. If you’re forced to spend extended amounts of time in the sun, be sure to stay hydrated, bring a cool, damp cloth or towel and be sure to take resting breaks in shaded areas during activity. It’s always better to take your time than it is to overwhelm your body with too much activity at one time.
Light Eating in Summer
Unfortunately, older folks are the most susceptible to being victims of heat-related illnesses. One way to ensure that you won’t make yourself sick in warm weather is by eating light, cool meals such as cold salads (e.g. cobb, egg, chicken or pasta salad) or cool wraps (e.g. ham and cheese, turkey and hummus). Cool, light foods won’t raise your body temperature either through direct means or through your body’s metabolism having to work hard to digest the dish. Clean eating is another great way to prevent yourself from getting sick and overheated. Be sure not to stuff yourself before going out into the sun and heat as this could spell out disaster in terms of an upset stomach.
Dip Your Toes
Should you happen to overheat, one quick and easy way to cool down is by filling a pan with cool (not cold) water and soaking your feet for 15 minutes or longer. Since the feet are considered a “critical area” in terms of circulation and body temperature, they’re the best place to start when trying to cool down your body. This same strategy can work at a number of different cooling points on your body. This strategy helps to naturally lower your body temperature at a slower rate to reduce the shock to your body.
Kill Heat with a Shower
Taking a shower is another great way to cool down your body in a similar way to tip number three—and it feels great! Shower in water that is just below body temperature (ideally, water around 95 degrees) to help you safely and quickly cool down. Anything cooler won’t be as effective, pleasant and could possible send your body into a state of shock.
Sleeping in the Heat
Being able to sleep in a sweltering room is near impossible. Our bodies are biologically wired to sleep better in a cool environment. As we sleep, our body temperatures actually lower. So, by lowering our environmental temperature at the end of the day, we can drift off faster and sleep better. To sleep during summer’s wrath, try swapping your usual bed dressings for a thinner quilt or blanket and cotton sheets. Be sure to wear loose-fitting and minimal clothing to bed to maximize your comfort throughout the night.
These tips are some easy, at-home ways to cool down and stay cool when summer weather hits. Be sure to pay attention to signals your body may give you about overheating such as dizziness, nausea, faintness, or thirst. Don’t push yourself to do more than you’re comfortable with in warm weather, but be sure to have fun this summer!