Here are some tips to survive hot weather:
- Stay hydrated.
Water is essential for keeping you cool during hot weather. Water keeps your body cool and should be drunk even if you don’t feel thirsty. It’s okay to also drink commercial waters (such as Vitamin Water) or sports drinks such as Powerade or Gatorade but they’re usually not necessary unless you’re deliberately replenishing lost vitamins/electrolytes following a sporting activity.
Stay away from sugary drinks such as sodas (even if they are sugar-free!); they decrease the ability of your body to store water. Also, steer clear of alcoholic drinks, coffee, and caffeinated drinks, which are natural diuretics.
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Drink plenty of water before engaging in any activities. If you wait too late, you could experience cramps, which are a sign of heat-related illness. Remind yourself to drink water frequently.
- Choose cooling foods. Food can keep you cool provided you make the right choices. Choose salads, fresh raw food, vegetables and fruit. “Cool as a cucumber” is literal; it is nearly 100% water, providing hydration to keep you cool. Avoid eating heavy foods during the heat of the day because these can increase metabolic heat production, which can add to loss of water.
Smaller meals may also help keep your core temperature down. Large meals require the body to work harder breaking everything down.
Make food without using the oven or stove. Find foods that don’t need to be cooked, or don’t need heat to be cooked. If you must actually cook, keep the cool air in, and the temperature down, by using the microwave instead of the stove or oven. For example, you can microwave frozen vegetables and canned soup instead of cooking them on the stovetop.
Cold soups are great in warm weather. Make popsicles, slushies, frozen fruit, frozen yogurt, and other frozen treats to help you cool down.
- Stay out of the sun while it’s at its hottest. This commonsense approach isn’t always easy to adhere to when summer fun beckons, so it bears repeating. Avoid activities in the noonday sun as much as possible. It’s best to limit your sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day during warmer months. When you are outside during these times, limit your exposure as best as you possibly can.
Schedule activities early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
- Wear sunscreen! While sunscreen doesn’t necessarily have a cooling effect, its protective effect is vital during warmer weather. As well as being painful and damaging, sunburn can cause a fever and various signs of dehydration. At the minimum, use SPF 15. If you’re planning on being outside for a while, SPF 30 would be a better option.
Reapply often. Every two hours is recommended, but it should be reapplied more often if you’re swimming or sweating a lot.
- Stay in the shade. Retreat to shade as much as possible. Taking breaks under trees works doubly well because trees release water into the air that absorbs some of the heat. While shade doesn’t lower the actual temperature, the lack of sunlight exposure makes it feel like the temperature is up to 15 degrees cooler.
If a cool breeze comes by, that can feel like an additional lowering of 5 degrees in the shade.
- Splash water on your skin. When it’s hot and sunny outside, a dip in cool water is refreshing. Jumping into a pool is not always a choice. Don’t forget low-maintenance options like sprinklers. You could also try taking showers or baths with cooler than normal water to take the edge off.
Fill a spray bottle with pure water and place in the refrigerator at home or work. When you feel too hot, spray a fine mist of the cooled water over face and body to help cool you down quickly.
- Wear lighter clothing. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing will help to keep you cooler. If it is light in color, it’s even better, as this will reflect the heat and sunlight better. Shorts and short sleeved shirts are good choices. Something that lets the air flow freely through, hitting the sweat on your body, works best.
- Keep your head covered. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, one that sufficiently covers the top of your scalp as well as the tops of your ears. This helps to keep you cooler by providing shade. Choose a brim that is wide enough that it can also cover the back of your neck. Light-colored hats can help keep you cool.
- Wear breathable footwear. Depending on the activity, one shoe could be more comfortable or appropriate than another. Consider whether arch support, durability, and comfort are mandatory, and then choose the best breathable footwear for the activity.
- Choose function over style. Wear fewer accessories during hotter weather. Metallic accessories can heat up considerably and less is always best when it comes to keeping cool. If you have long hair, wear it up and off your face and body, allowing the breeze to flow along your neckline.
- Use fans. Whether hand-held or electric, fans can keep you cool by continuously circulating air. In your home and office space, locate fans in rooms where you are working or resting to keep the air circulating freely and to reduce the mugginess of heat.
- Use air conditioning. Even if your home does not have central air, placing a small window air conditioner in one room of your home may help to keep it cool during the summer.
- Close curtains and blinds. The sun’s rays convert to heat. However possible, you should block the rays coming into your house to keep the temperature down. Closing curtains, lowering shades, or even blocking windows can significantly reduce the heat in your house and keep it cool.