Keep cool in the summer, Part 2

Keeping cool in the summer is more than just putting a fan in front of you and drinking plenty of water (those are two of the premier ways of keeping cool in the summer), but there are a few more ways you can protect yourself from the blaring summer heat.

  • Stay inside. The heat is always worse in the direct sunlight. If you can, stay in the shade or stay inside to avoid a direct line of sight. However, shade might not be enough. I cannot stress the importance of fans and air conditioning units to help squelch the summer heat. I do not have air conditioning in my home, so we use the electric window units to survive the pains of summer. While it can be a bit uncomfortable when we are cooking or during the hottest part of the day, it makes it so we can live without chance of heatstroke.
  • Wear the right clothes. Obviously summer is not the time for ski parkas, wool socks and fur lined boots. Most people use summer as an excuse to wear practically nothing. While I do not advocate for either of them, it is very important to dress for the season to avoid heat stroke. Wear breathable fabrics like cotton or polyester when you are out in the sun. These fabrics make it easy for the heat to release instead of holding it close to your body, which can increase your internal temperature very quickly. (It always makes me wonder why they make poor marching bands wear those painfully hot uniforms in summer parades. That is a heat stroke just waiting to happen.)
  • Exercise right. Physical activity takes a different form during the summer. I always shake my head when I see runners exercising in the middle of the day with the sun beating down on them. To keep your internal temperature low, exercise early in the morning or later in the evening when the temps are generally lower. If you must exercise during the day, try your local gym. But the if the great outdoors are calling your name, considering running in the canyon (there are many trails by my home) or river bottoms where the temperatures are generally lower. And this goes without saying, drink plenty of water. Some say to take your weight, divide in half. That numbers is how much water you should drink daily in ounces. The water requirement is different for each person, so drink as much as you personally need. And of course, do not over exercise. This will weaken your body and make you susceptible to heat stroke.
  • Wear sunscreen. This advice is multi-fold. Wearing sunscreen will save you from withered, leather skin when you are old. And it will help you avoid skin cancer. With the rising trend of looking as tan as humanly possible (and some people are looking very inhumanly tan), skin cancer is on the rise. And while your family health insurance will help you cover your skin cancer costs, it is best to avoid it.