Hints for Surviving the Summertime Heat

Sharon Rekieta, Fitness and Wellness Director - 22nd June 2012

Summer officially arrived earlier this week; however, Central Texas and many other parts of the country have been feeling the heat for months.

If you find yourself already curtailing your outdoor activities or counting the days until the first cool front, follow these suggestions for a safe season of fun.

Stay Hydrated:  If you will be outside in the heat for any length of time, your body will need additional fluids. Carry a water bottle so you can sip from it frequently — a common guideline is to consume four to six ounces every 15 minutes. If you are sweating profusely for more than an hour, you'll occasionally need several ounces of an electrolyte-replacing beverage, such as Gatorade, to replace important minerals lost during sweat.

Clothing:  Light colored, lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing keeps you feeling cooler by reflecting some of the sun's rays and helping deflect sweat away from your body so the sweat evaporates faster. Sweat-resistant sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses are also required additions for everyone in the sun.

Exercise:  To avoid the blazing rays, plan your workouts for the early morning or evening hours, seek shady areas or tree-lined trails, and realize that you may need to dial back the intensity and/or duration of your routine. My favorite keep cool hints include immersing myself in a pool prior to a workout, putting ice cubes on my head under a hat and carrying a partially frozen rag to towel off my face. I also keep an eye out for sprinklers or water fountains for refreshing relief.

Working:  If your job requires being outside, follow the above hints for exercise. In addition, take frequent breaks and if some of those breaks can be taken in an air-conditioned building, that's even better.

Keep the above hints in mind for the next few months, and you will safely survive and enjoy the dog days of summer.