Most of us like to stay inside during the summer and soak up all the AC that we can. Sometimes that means if we go out, we go to a restaurant or a theater just to stay out of the heat. Other times, we may go out only to soak in a pool. But if you want to get outside and enjoy the summer, follow these simple tips to keep yourself healthy.
Drink lots and lots of water. This is really a good tip year round, but it’s especially important for the summer. Dehydration is a serious problem and it is the number 1 cause of heat related illnesses. It can have several different symptoms, such as headaches, increased thirst, and confusion, but these can be avoided simply by bringing some water along with you while you’re out in the heat of the day. Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine because they both cause increased frequency of urination. This means that they can actually cause you to become dehydrated. If you’re not a fan of drinking straight water, try adding some fruit to flavor it or try an alternative like decaffeinated tea or a sports drink.
Don’t stay outside during the hottest hours of the day, usually around midday to early afternoon, especially if you have children. Being outside at these times will increase the likelihood of becoming dehydrated, so stay inside and soak up some AC. Plan outdoor activities for the morning or late afternoon to avoid the sweltering temperatures.
Wear light, reflective clothing while outside. The brighter the color, the more sunlight you will reflect, so a white t-shirt and beige shorts will be much cooler than wearing all black, no matter how punk rock you think you look in it. Make sure the clothing is lightweight, too. As you sweat, your clothes will absorb that sweat and become even heavier. Apply sunscreen to any areas of exposed skin, including your face and head (for those of us with very little hair). Wear a hat to help shade your face, if you like.
If you are feeling like you’re overheating, mist yourself with some water to help cool yourself down. If you’re still overheating, take a break. Mowing the lawn or tending to the garden can wait until you’ve sufficiently cooled down by soaking up some more AC. Remember to keep drinking water and be sure to have extra around while you’re out, but don’t feel like just because you’re misting yourself down and drinking plenty of water that you’re totally safe in the heat. Know your limits and adhere to them. It will keep you healthy in the long run.
Spending all that time outside can have an added benefit beyond staying active. While you’re out, you can adjust the temperatures inside your home to be higher than you would normally set it were you inside all day. This way, you can save some electricity while you are outside, and when you come back inside, your home will still feel much cooler than it feels outside. Combine this savings with the savings you could have by switching to a provider that offers cheap electricity, and you have the power to choose a summer that is filled with fun activities, cool homes, and electricity freedom.