Tips for staying cool in hot weather

6 07 2010

It’s getting pretty warm out there folks, and it’s about time, too! Of course, the hot weather can be quite uncomfortable and even dangerous: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 8,000 deaths have occurred in the United States from 1979-2003, more than hurricanes, lighting, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined.

Moreover, Dr. Noel D. Nequin, president of the American Medical Athletic Association, says it takes 10 to 14 days of light exercise to get the body acclimated to the heat. So, in short, take it easy for the next few days while your body gets used to the extreme heat.

River House

Photo courtesy of Cayusa,

So, follow these easy tips (many of which are simple common sense) and they should help you stay cool.

  • First and foremost, stay hydrated! The body uses much more water during the hot summer months, and as such, it’s important to drink ample water. Your body will thank you for it. In hot weather, adults need around 17 to 20 ounces of water before beginning an activity, and roughly an additional 10 ounces every 20 minutes. Drink up!
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing that will provide plenty of airflow. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the heat.
  • Avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day — morning and evening exercise is preferred.
  • Use rubbing alcohol. Moisten a cloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe it on the face, chest, arms and more (make sure to avoid the eyes!) and stand in front of a fan. The evaporating alcohol gives an intense cooling sensation. Not recommended before a date — you’ll probably smell a bit funky.
  • Eat spicy foods. Spicy foods induce perspiration, which is the body’s natural way of staying cool.
  • Go swimming — and don’t forget that water-proof sunblock.
  • Take plenty of breaks in the shade. Duh.

Enjoy the weather and stay safe out there!

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