With temperatures escalating past the 100-degree mark in numerous parts of the country this July, homeowners nationwide are taking the necessary precautions to beat the summer heat.
While prolonged exposure to hot outdoor temperatures are known causes of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke, extreme temperatures indoors can also cause heat-related illnesses.
When your body attempts to cool off in intense conditions, blood rushes to the surface of your skin. During the process, your muscles, brain and other important organs receive less blood flow. This can cause a severe drop off in your mental capacity and physical strength that can put you in serious risk for heat-related health hazards.
For some precautionary steps to avoiding these hazards, here are five cool tips to help you beat the summer heat!
Avoid high alcohol intake during high temperatures.
Drinking high levels of alcohol during hot temperatures puts you at greater risk for heat-related illnesses.
The high humidity levels that often accompany high temperatures typically interfere with sweat evaporation. This interference hinders the human body’s attempts to cool itself off. When the body can’t adequately cool down, your risk of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke increase exponentially.
Don’t over-exercise outdoors during high temperatures.
While many Americans love the fact that they can tan and exercise at the same time while on an early morning summer run, excessive exercise in high temperatures can be hazardous to your health.
When the body loses large amounts of salt and water through excessive sweat, your chances of heat exhaustion dramatically increase.
In addition, heavy exertion during high temperatures can lead to the loss of essential nutrients like magnesium and potassium, which also contributes to heat exhaustion.
Drink plenty of water and fluids before going outdoors.
It’s imperative that you drink a sufficient amount of cold water or sports drinks to combat the possibility of dehydrating in the summer heat. There are six warning indicators that may be early signs of dehydration. These signs include:
- Feeling overheated
- Dry lips
- Dry tongue
- Shortage of energy
If these symptoms go untreated (without drinking cool fluids), they can lead to more severe types of illness including heat stroke.
Wear cotton clothes instead of synthetic materials.
While many people realize that wearing white in the summer keeps you cool, those same people may not be aware that cotton clothes keep you cooler than clothes made from synthetic materials.
The durability of synthetic materials, such as polyester, make them a good choice for outdoor clothing. However, in the summertime, the added durability of synthetic materials compromises the fabric’s breathability. For this reason, I suggest wearing cotton clothes in high temperatures to aid your body’s cooling process.
If you don’t have an air conditioner at home, go to a public place that does.
With temperatures escalating all over the country, a portable fan can only do so much on a 100-degree day.
If you don’t have access to central air or an air conditioning unit in your home, visit a mall, library or some other public place to take advantage of the AC for a few hours out of the day.
Your chances of experiencing a heat-related illness are elevated during the hottest month of the year, so employ some of the tips listed to stay cool and beat the heat!
Any other tips on how to stay cool this summer? Leave a comment below and join in on the dialogue!