We all love to bask in the sun, but like anything else, too much of it can be harmful.
Heat exhaustion, dehydration and sun poisoning can really put a damper on your summer fun. Rather than risk it, follow these eight tips to avoid burning out while you stay active.
1. Drink Water
In fact, drink lots of it. Your body dehydrates at a faster rate when it’s exposed to heat, so make sure you are actively replenishing your fluids. You don’t want to wait for symptoms of dehydration to set in before filling up your water bottle. Instead, carry one with you at all times and sip throughout the day.
2. Wear Light Clothing
Dressing appropriately for the heat can often feel like an impossible task, but do your best to wear light colored and breathable clothing, especially if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time.
3. Don a Hat
Your face sees more sun exposure than any other part of your body, so protect it by wearing a hat with a wide brim or bill to keep your face in the shade. However, remember that wearing a hat is no substitute for our next tip…
4. Apply Sunscreen
To avoid sunburn or sun poisoning, make sure you apply sunscreen liberally and reapply every few hours throughout your time in the sun. Make sure you cover the areas that are often forgotten, like the tops of your feet, your ears and the back of your neck.
5. Take Breaks
There’s no shame in stepping into the air conditioning or moving to a shady spot for a while. Listen to your body and honor its response to the heat. If you start to feel lightheaded or overly flushed, take immediate precautions and get to a cooler spot.
6. Bring a Buddy
If you have plans to exercise outdoors or be in the heat for an extended period of time, make sure you aren’t alone. Ask a friend to come on your run or do yard work when someone else is home. If you do start to feel the effects of heat exhaustion or dehydration, you won’t want to be alone.
7. Avoid High Sun
While your plans might not always be flexible, do your best to limit your exposure to the sun during its hottest hours, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
8. Make Good Food Choices
Fill your plate with foods that have a high water content, like fruits and vegetables. They’ll help you stay hydrated, as opposed to protein-heavy foods that can actually increase your metabolic heat production, causing your body to lose water. Some of the foods with the highest water content include cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and watermelon.
Our best tip for keeping your cool this summer is to listen to your body. Watch for any heat reaction that might signal danger: excessive sweating, dizziness, nausea, confusion or headache. If you start to experience any of the above, seek out a cooler space and a big glass of water immediately, then monitor how you feel to see if you need additional treatment.
Don’t just enjoy the summer—survive it! Check out our free summer survival guide for more great tips.