Western Canada has been a furnace this past week. As such, I have not spent much time on my computer. While I fully intended to write an article on the value of magnesium, that took the back seat to this week’s topic: how to safely beat the heat during a summer heatwave!
The past several days have all been in the high thirties! For my American readers, a lot of our days have been over 100 degrees Fahrenheit! It’s INSANE!
Luckily, I have been able to go to my air-conditioned office for most of the week, but many people are not as lucky as I. Therefore, this article includes some important tips and tricks pulled from the CDC on how to beat the summer heat!
Why It Is Important To Be Aware?
Apart from the fact that ridiculously hot temperatures can be uncomfortable, they can also be dangerous.
In this heat wave alone, around 500 people have died due to the high temperatures.
Older people, younger people, and pets are especially at risk. As are those who work outside, who do not have access to cool interiors, or who are without water.
I am pleased to say that free water, lemonade, and “stay cool” shelters have been available throughout Western Canada. However, many people just don’t realize HOW HOT THEY ARE before they are at risk.
How To Keep Cool: 101
Firstly, it is important to keep your house as cool as possible.
Obviously, if you have AC that isn’t too difficult, but it can be expensive.
Therefore, I focus on keeping my house cool with a simple, age-old trick.
Open windows at night. Keep windows closed, and the blinds drawn, during the day. Sure, it doesn’t stop the temperature creeping upwards, but indoor temperatures are easier to measure than those outside.
Using a fan to bring cool air in is also important, if it is possible! Ceiling fans should be set to turn counterclockwise, as this pushes the hot air down and lets the cool air rise.
If you can’t keep your house cool (because it’s just THAT HOT) focus on keeping yourself cool!
Stay hydrated by drinking water and juice. Also eat fruits and veggies (apples, peaches, cucumbers, berries, watermelon, salads) as they tend to have high water content. Avoid pops and alcohol, as those can have dehydrating effects!
A trick that I like to use is freezing water bottles overnight. During the day, I take one out and “cuddle it” to keep myself cool. As the water melts, I also have an ice-cold refreshment. It’s a win-win!
A neat way to keep your pets cool as well is to use an ice pack (or frozen water bottle) to pet them throughout the day. Just make sure it is one that can be rinsed, or you may have pet hair in your freezer!
Also, try to avoid using appliances that throw heat. There is a reason we eat so many salads and sandwiches in the summer – they can be prepared without making the house hot! (And the produce is in season, which certainly helps.)
Beat The Heat Outdoors
If you have read my blog before, then you know that I believe time outdoors is integral to our mental and physical health. Whether you are forest bathing, practicing grounding, or just enjoy a stroll outside, the outdoors plays an important role in our lives.
But, when it’s this hot, it is important to remember how to stay safe.
- Practice sun safety! This may mean compromising your gorgeous tan for light, loose clothing that covers your skin, wearing ample sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed hat. I also suggest sunglasses for optimum stylishness.
- Stay in the shade if possible. Yes, you may be very sun-safe, and you may EVEN be wearing one of those giant sunhats (my favorite), but the shade is still cooler than direct sun.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. If you think you have drunk enough water, you should probably drink some more, just in case. If you have stopped sweating, you need to drink some water.
- Do you have water access? If so, use it. Whether it is a sprinkler, a river, or a kiddie pool, getting wet helps keep us cool. Why? Because as the water evaporates from our skin, it uses the energy from the sun, which prevents overheating. This is also why humans sweat!
- Maybe consider an air-conditioned activity if you have that ability. Example: my grandparents went to a movie the other day so they could spend a couple of hours in the cool AC of the cinema. Bonus points, they watched The Conjuring so they had some extra chills!
When To Be Worried About Too Much Heat
Sometimes, we can’t avoid the heat, as much as we try.
So, when should you be concerned?
Are you still sweating? If so, you are likely alright. However, make sure you are hydrating as much as possible.
Do you have a headache? Are you feeling nauseous, faint, or confused? Is your skin hot, red, and dry? Does your pulse feel fast and weak? These are signs that you may need medical attention, and that you DO need to cool down immediately.
Be safe this summer, and take the proper precautions to beat the heat!