5 Ways to Keep Cool in the Summer Heat

Desert woman thirsty dehydrated in Death Valley

Keeping yourself cool should be a priority for you this season in order to prevent heat-related ailments. Heat cramping, exhaustion and heat stroke can definitely put a damper on your day. Try these five tips in order to stay cool and continue enjoying the summer fun.

1. Say No to Joe
Don’t be fooled by that tasty iced coffee drink! Iced caffeinated beverages and cold alcoholic beverages, though cool on the lips, will not hydrate you. Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, which creates water loss. Excess caffeine intake can also create a loss of nutrients and electrolytes. Make sure to drink at least 10 ounces of water for every caffeinated beverage you have, including caffeinated tea.

It’s best to stick to drinking water, caffeine-free teas, coconut water and eat plenty of vegetables and fruits that are rich in potassium.

2. Exercise at Cooler Times of Day
If you are an outdoor runner or cyclist, then try to go very early in the morning when temperature isn’t at its peak, or much later in the day. Exercising indoors may be a better option if you can find a cool space to move in. Athletes and those engaging in moderate to heavy exercise for over an hour are at a high risk for heat-related illnesses. If you fit into this category, make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids that contain electrolytes. (Like the recipe below.)

3. Replenish Electrolytes with Cooling Citrus
Save a buck and replenish electrolytes with this easy recipe that contains natural ingredients without additives found in most commercial sports drinks.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup of lime juice
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 whole squeezed orange
1 liter of water

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together, shake well and serve.

4. Cover Your Head
Whether you’re crossing the street or walking a mile, make sure to protect your head from the sun. Wear a sun hat that also covers your face or use an umbrella if you don’t have a hat handy. You can also choose to wear a bandana to keep the sweat off your face. (Stay even cooler by dipping it into cold water and wringing it out before tying on.)

5. Let Your Skin Breathe
Heavy lotions and baby oil can clog pores and trap in moisture. When pores are closed, the body can’t release sweat and you may easily become overheated. Choose lighter lotions that contain natural ingredients and light-colored clothing made of lightweight materials that let your skin breathe, such as organic cotton.

The Signs of Heat-Related Danger
Dry skin, a rapid or weak pulse, dizziness and heavy sweating are some symptoms that might indicate you are overheating. With heat stroke specifically, the body’s temperature surpasses 105.1°F in combination with a sense of confusion and a lack of sweating. The elderly, children, athletes and pregnant women are more susceptible to these conditions and should take extra caution.