4 Creative Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer
Summer temperatures have begun breaking records across the nation, so if you’ve suspected that it’s a hotter summer than usual, you may not be wrong. In fact, about one third of the world faces deadly heatwaves for at least 20 days per year, and a new study shows that these conditions will only become more common. With this in mind, it’s essential to have strategies for keeping cool when the temperatures rise. The tricks below can help you manage the heat to stave off the dangerous effects of heat illness, which should always be addressed with immediate medical care.
Work Around Your Lack of Air Conditioning
Those who live in the scorching Southwest or the warmer climate of tropical Florida likely have air conditioning at home, making it easy to turn the dial down and enjoy a cool household. For those who do not have air conditioning, the heat can be much more impactful. Before you call your local HVAC company and drop hundreds of dollars on an air conditioner, you might make some tweaks around the house to make it more comfortable on a budget. First, close your window shades during the day to mitigate the greenhouse effect inside your house. At night, you can allow cool air to come in with open windows, which may help you sleep more soundly while enjoying fresh air. Fans can be helpful as well, but remember that fans cool people, not rooms, so they shouldn’t be left running when you aren’t there. For added coolness, you might place a large bowl of ice in front of a floor or table fan placed strategically near your work or relaxation space.
The heat can seem much harsher when you are in direct sunlight, so when you do go outdoors, head for shade. If possible, walk along tree-lined streets or stay under a shaded patio when temperatures are high – or at least identify a shady area where you can take breaks from the sun and rest throughout your day. If you are in an area with few trees or shade structures, create your own shade with a large umbrella or wide-brimmed hat.
Stock Your Freezer
Trying to cool your environment can take a significant amount of resources. Instead, you might simply focus on cooling your body from the inside out. A quick way to cool down is with a frozen treat like a popsicle, slushy, or smoothie. These snacks can, however, be high in sugar, so stick to all-fruit popsicles and low-sugar varieties of frozen confections. If you make a smoothie, add in a handful of spinach or kale to up the nutritional value without adding more sugar.
Don’t Drink Only Water
Water is essential during the summer months, and the importance of drinking enough water should not be overlooked. Still, you can drink too much water, especially if you are very active. To prevent becoming over-hydrated, try mixing it up with a sports drink, fruit juice, or coconut water. These fluids will replenish some of the salts and sugars that are lost from your body when you sweat, helping you hydrate more efficiently.
When there are extreme heat warnings in your area, the last thing you may want to do is leave your house. Fortunately, MeMD can help you stay inside and keep cool with the convenience of online medical consultations, which can address heat illness, exhaustion, and other immediate concerns that might otherwise require a trip to urgent care.