The sun is out, and summer is in full swing. And while the warm weather feels wonderful, it can also be dangerous. Here are 5 ways to keep yourself safe and healthy during these hot summer days.
1. Consume plenty of liquids (water)
While this may seem like the obvious thing to do, many of us do not keep hydrated, even on cool days. Water consumption is crucial, whether you are inside or outside. Dr. Kessinger recommends drinking half of your weight in ounces (up to 100 ounces) of water every day. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should consume 90 ounces of water each day. This equates to 5-6 bottles of water, 16 ounces each, every day. You should avoid caffeine and sugary drinks, as they can dehydrate you further. Also, eat light, healthy foods with high water content, such as watermelon or cucumber to increase hydration.
2. Wear weather appropriate clothing
Keep your clothing light and breathable. Make sure you wear fabrics that work well in the heat, such as cotton or linen. Also, keep your layers to a minimum, and make sure your clothing fits loosely and unrestrictedly. Short sleeved shirts, tank tops, shorts, and light weight pants are easy choices for warm weather. Also, sun hats, baseball hats, and sunglasses are helpful accessories to have during the summer. Unless instructed by a provider, lightweight socks and open-toed shoes are also useful.
3. Avoid exercise and rest as much as possible
This suggestion can be difficult, especially when there are places you need to be. Try your best to stay in the air conditioning whenever possible. If exercise is a must, perhaps join a facility with air conditioning, or where aquatic exercises are available. If the outdoors are involved in your exercise routine, try to exercise early in the morning or later in the evening when the weather has cooled down. Get plenty of rest and sleep, especially if the weather is making you feel tired during the day.
4. Stay indoors during mid-day, with air conditioning if possible
Again, this can be difficult for many of us to accomplish. If you are able to run errands and set appointments for early in the morning or late in the evening, this will be helpful to avoid the heat. If you must be out during the hottest parts of the day, follow the above steps, stay in the air-conditioning, and listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard, move slowly, and take proper breaks when needed.
5. Know the warning signs
Listen to your body. If you’re feeling overheated and/or tired, make sure you find a place to cool down, rest and drink water. If you start to notice signs of dizziness, nausea, headaches, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and/or fainting seek help immediately. If possible, go places with someone, or with a group of people, rather than by yourself. Talk to your provider before starting any new exercises or medications in case the hot weather will interfere.
Be safe and enjoy the summer!