Health Advocate Blog

Tips to beat the summer heat

Does this sweltering summer heat have you secretly hoping for a freak snowstorm to roll through? It’ll be a while before this heat goes away, so in the meantime, you’ve gotta find ways to keep cool and stay safe in the heat. Read on to discover some smart ways to beat the heat.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Make H20 your BFF. Especially if you’re outside, make sure to always have a bottle of water with you. Cool drinks can help you keep your temperature regulated by cooling your body down. It’s best to avoid alcohol, though, as it can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature–plus it can further dehydrate you.

Stay cool outside.

If you absolutely must be outside in the extreme heat (for example, if you work outside), take water breaks often, and when possible, hang out in shady spots–for instance, under trees and awnings. If you are running errands, don’t stay inside, or lock your pets or children inside, parked cars that are turned off. On a day where the temperature is just 78 degrees outside (a much cooler temperature than most of us have been dealing with lately), cars parked in the sun can reach 160 degrees inside! Also, take advantage of public pools or call up a friend who has a pool.

Wear sunscreen.

Sunburn can prevent the body from cooling off properly. Avoid getting sunburned by using sunscreen on any exposed areas of skin while you’re outside.

Dress light.

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. It’s also helpful to wear lighter colors, especially if you’re outside–dark-colored clothing absorbs more sunlight-generated heat than light-colored clothing items do.

Keep cool indoors.

Stay indoors if you can, especially during peak heat hours of 10 AM – 4 PM. If your house has air conditioning, don’t be shy about using it! If you don’t have AC, you could visit a friend or family member who does have it, or head to the air-conditioned mall or public library. Also, many communities have cooling stations that are air-conditioned and have water and other comforts that are available to those suffering from the effects of heat. Do you know where any local cooling stations might be? (To locate a cooling station near you, call your local municipal office or the non-emergency number for your local hospital or police station. Some organizations like the Salvation Army host cooling stations, too.) But if you want to stay home and you don’t have air conditioning, using a fan is the next best option. Also make sure to ward away heat as best you can–use mini-blinds and/or curtains so sunlight can’t come through the window and heat up rooms.