For many of us who live in this part of the world, the months of June, July, and August bring an abundance of sunshine… and HEAT! We love to be outside, so keeping cool is important not only for a good attitude (who doesn’t get a little cranky when their too hot?!), but most importantly for your health. Here are a few ideas to “keep your cool” during the hot summer months.
- Stay hydrated! Everyone knows that drinking plenty of water is vital in the heat. Normally experts advise 8-10 glasses of water per day. But you need 20% more if you are outside in the heat. Some of the signs of dehydration include lightheadedness, headache, fatigue, infrequent urination and constipation. Take water everywhere you go! Cold water is the most refreshing! Freeze water bottles and take them in a small cooler. Find a favorite cup! I love my insulated Bubba cup that I found at Walmart. I can fill it with ice and water in morning and I still have the same ice at night despite refill after refill (even after leaving it in a hot car!). Water can get a little boring so I keep a stash of sugar free mixins handy. Our favorite flavors are pink lemonade, strawberry watermelon, and grape. My kids love creating their own flavors by mixing and matching!
- Get the gear! For the days when you will be spending a lot of time outside, there is some “cool” gear to look into. Do you have a cooling towel? Where have these been all my life?! There are many brands, but they all do the same thing. Simply wet them and put them in a water tight container and pull them out when things heat up. They instantly cool the skin and remove the salt from sweat. I put cooling towels on my kids when we are sleeping outdoors and the temperatures make it hard to fall asleep. I also love a good Spritzer or Mister. Fill them with water, pump them up with air and shower yourself with a mist of cool water. These are a lifesaver at a parade or outdoor concert!
- Keep the car cool! One of the worst things about the heat is a HOT car! There is not a lot you can do to avoid it…Try to park in shady spots and keep your errands to a minimum during the hottest hours of the day. NEVER leave anyone (or any pet) in a hot car for any amount of time. Invest in a windshield shade. It keeps the surfaces in your car significantly cooler. Here is also a handy trick for cooling down a hot car…after starting the car, open up all the windows and turn on the AC on the floor of the car. This pushes the hot air out the windows and cools the car faster!
- Make a plan! Although I love that we can be spontaneous in the summer, planning can make for a better day! Plan activities to avoid the hottest times of the day. If you are heading to the park, take a lunch break or dip in the pool during the hottest hours. Plan activities early in the morning and later in the evening (I love watching my kids play outside in the evening…summer nights are the best!). Plan meals ahead of time. I always hate cooking, but especially in the summer! And it seems like my kids are constantly hungry! Keep the fridge or cooler stocked with cool “healthy snacks like cut up veggies and fruit, Gogurts, or applesauce. Throw a meal in the crock pot so when dinner comes around, you are not heating up the house with the oven.
I hope a few of these ideas come in handy for the remainder of the summer! Soak it up!