The heat of summer can be devastating if you don’t follow the rules. I’m not talking about the ones above; they have been around for ages. No, I’m talking about the ones no one thinks of; the ones that will make your summer time easier to cope with; more comfortable to live with; and less frustrating to suffer with. I’m talking about what you should, and shouldn’t, wear or do during the summer. These tips will help make your summer much more fun and carefree.
How to dress and be safe in the summer time heat
We have all heard the usual things: dress cool, wear a hat, drink lots of liquids and don't stand in the sun too long. But there are others that experts haven't told you.
Let's talk about the clothes you should and shouldn't wear first--
Yes, yes, yes, I know, wear light clothes, bathing suits, sunglasses, yes the list goes on, right?
But what about the other things you should and shouldn’t wear, like the color of your clothes? Bright colors worn in the summer time can draw bees, lady bugs and other insects that are attracted to the bright-colored flowers that promise nectar. They will buzz around you, land on your skin, and often bite (or sting) when the promised nectar is not found. Stick with pale colors like pastels, or bland colors like white. The insect world will avoid those colors in favor of the brighter ones that usually represent flowers and nectar. An added advantage of wearing the lighter colors is that the lighter colors will ‘push’ the light away and darker colors like black or dark blue will ‘draw’ the light to you making you hotter and possibly causing a sunburn beneath the clothing.
What about the scents you wear in the summer?
What could they have to do with summer comfort?
Well, insects, once more, are attracted to the sweet flowery scents of perfumes, hair sprays, gels, deodorants, anti-perspirants, shampoos, conditioners, even lotions. During the summer, avoid heavy perfumes, gels and hair sprays altogether; or at least use unscented ones. Use lightly scented or unscented deodorants (anti-perspirants will not stop the sweating odor) shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. For added protection in the heat, try a light dusting of baby powder or after shower powders--ensure their scents are light or that they are scent free to avoid the bug infestation.
There are also the things you should use during those hot summer months. Things like aloe in lotions, gels, or straight from the plant. Aloe is a great hydrator for the burning rays of the sun. It will moisturize the skin, ease the pain of sunburn, ease the pain of any burn, and keep the skin moist and soft. Avoid the lotions that advertise heavy scents like flowers or fruits; favor the lighter scents or no scent at all, but look for the ingredient aloe in all of your summer products.
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Cold water tastes great and cools you right down when summer heat gets to you, right?
Yes, but what does it do to your system?
First, there is the shock of the cold hitting your over-heated, dried-out tissues. This can cause serious issues within the body. The organs can’t handle the cold shock when they are over-heated and neither can the tissues surrounding them. Instead, when you are vastly over-heated, drink luke-warm water first. Get the fluid into the body and allow the body to disperse it where it needs to go, then you can chug the cold stuff. Try keeping a bottle out of the cooler and take a few swigs before you grab the cold one.
Also, that sweet sugary drink tastes real good compared to the blah tasting water, right? Yes, but it is the worst thing you can do when you are over-heated. Sugary drinks tend to dry you out more rather than hydrate you. Even drinks that advertise that they will replace those chemicals you have sweated out in the heat, can be bad for you because of the heavy amounts of sugar. Avoid these types of drinks, cold or hot, when you are over-heated. If you must have flavor in your water, try using a flavored protein additive, or one that contains no sugars. You could even add lemons or limes to your water to give it just that bit of flavor without the dangers of sugar. Also, and I know this one will upset a lot of you; avoid alcohol during the heat of the day. Alcohol, like sugar, tends to dry you out rather than hydrating you.
Your head gets really hot, sitting out there with the sun beating down on it for hours and hours.
You can even get sunburned through the hair, onto the scalp.
But, though experts all say a hat is required in the sun, that hat is so much hotter to wear, right? Try a light-colored hat in the summer time. Just like your clothes, lighter colors tend to ‘push’ the bright light away whereas darker colors tend to ‘draw’ in the bright light, and the heat. I know that hat with your team logo is your favorite, but it probably isn't the thing you should be wearing in the summer sun. Wait until the sun goes down and then you can don the Team Name.
Great, you have the light clothes, the light colors, the light or missing scents, the luke-warm water instead of the cold sugary drinks, the light hat on your head and the sun-screen with aloe for your skin. You are all set, right?
Well, not quite.
Just one more thing before I let you go: you should drink hot liquids during your resting breaks. (WOW, I just heard dishes fall to the floor and jaws hit the floor with a crack!) Hear me out. If you are hot, and you have rehydrated with luke-warm water, but you aren’t cool yet, drink a hot tea or coffee (a small one) and the heat will make you sweat which will put water on your body. The light breeze that is always present in the summer will blow across your wet skin and cool you down. Just a few warnings for that though: stay in the shade while you are drinking the hot liquid (or indoors), drink only a little of the hot liquid (just enough to make you sweat), don’t drink cold drinks immediately after swallowing the hot liquid or you will shock your tissues and never drink hot liquids, or eat hot food, if you are already sweating unless you are fully hydrated with plenty of water.
I think I have covered everything.
I know you will have a great summer, and there won’t be any heat prostration due to dehydration, right? Oh yeah, I almost forgot: If you don’t have air-conditioning in your home, use fans in the windows and walk-ways that have protective cages around them to prevent injury. Also, don’t put ice in front of the fan to cool you down! Ice will melt and can cause serious shock or electrocution injuries if it hits the cord of the fan.
Keep all of these ideas in mind when preparing for your summer days and you will be much happier; and, an added benefit, you will have more energy to do the things you are out there to do if you keep yourself hydrated and free of the bugging pests. Happy Summer Days!