As the days start to cool down you may start to slack up on your usual summer routines. Depending on the where you live, temperatures are still reaching into the 90s and it’s important that you keep to your summer safety protocols to keep yourself safe from the heat. Let’s revisit some of the things you should do to keep yourself as cool as possible when the mercury rises.

Stay Hydrated

Your number one priority for staying safe on those hotter days is to stay hydrated at all times. I don’t mean just chugging a few beers. You need to drink cold water, lots of it. Stick to shaded areas if possible. Wear wide-brimmed hats to keep the sun off your head and face.  

If you’re going to be working in your yard, for instance, start drinking water about an hour before you head outside. If you wait until you start to feel thirsty, you’re going to lose the battle.  At the first sign of heat illness- dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, nausea; immediately get to a cooler area and slowly drink a cool beverage.  

Take frequent breaks

When working or playing outside when the temperatures rise, you need to take frequent breaks. Don’t push yourself too hard or set an unrealistic timeline to complete the task at hand. It’s not worth risking your health just to complete a task in a certain amount of time. You can break up the work you have to get done into segments. Don’t just work until you cannot go any further. The job will still be there tomorrow. 

Know when to stay indoors

If the high temperature for the day is coupled with excessive humidity; you may want to stay indoors instead of working or playing outside. Our bodies sweat to try to cool us down and in higher humidity the body tends to sweat excessively. This will deplete your body of the water it needs to keep you hydrated and can become dangerous. Know your limits and work inside the house instead of outside on days like this.

While you’re outside

If you must be outside when the sun is its hottest, try some of these tips to keep you safe:

  • USE SUNSCREEN (at least 30 SPF)- and re-apply often
  • Use a spray bottle filled with chilled water and spray yourself for quick cooling
  • Keep wet hand towels in an ice-filled cooler and break them out and place them on the back of your neck when you feel like you’re overheating
  • Seek shade when you can

Meals to keep you feeling cool

Plan for meals that are refreshing on those hottest days. Hot soup isn’t something most people want when it’s 95 degrees outside. Try a refreshing chilled soup like this southwest gazpacho recipe for a switch. Chilled ingredients are so refreshing! A spinach salad with grilled chicken, strawberries, and pecans is always a hit. Top it with a beautiful strawberry vinaigrette and maybe some feta cheese crumbles to make it really special. Add a chilled cucumber, tomato, and onion salad as a side dish to lighten up a meal. Follow up with delicious ice cream as a dessert.

Don’t let your guard down even if the temperatures are lower than at the height of summer. There is still a chance of overheating as we head into fall.

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