Plan on spending a lot of time outdoors this summer? The long, hot days of the season invite all kinds of outdoor activities--playing sports, camping, tending your garden, or simply hanging out by the pool. If you're looking for some ways to beat the heat, here are some tips to help you keep your cool in the outdoors.
1. Stay Hydrated
It goes without saying, but we're going to say it anyway: If you want to keep your cool outdoors, you have to keep your body hydrated. This means drinking beverages like water, sports drinks, or even caffeine-free tea to replenish the fluids and electrolytes you sweat away. Keeping anoutdoor coolerhandy will ensure you always have plenty of cold, refreshing beverages available when you need them.
2. Take Frequent Breaks
Muscle activity can produce a lot of body heat, so make sure you occasionally take five minutes to catch your second wind and give your body a chance to recover. And if you reach a point where you're lightheaded or feeling nauseous, take the hint and call it a day.
3. Dress for the Weather
Loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing will go a long way towards protecting you from the sun's rays while still keeping you cool. Loose and lightweight clothing allows air to circulate between the fabric and your skin. Light colors (like white or beige) reflect sunlight and heat. A baseball cap or sun hat can also help you stay cooler outdoors by protecting your head and giving you a little extra shade.
4. Avoid the Midday Sun
Summer days are hottest between 10am and 4pm, when the sun is directly overhead. If you're going to be doing any strenuous activity, try to do it when it in the morning or early evening, when it's cooler outdoors.
5. Make Use of Shade
They say shade is nature's sun hat. (Full disclosure: Nobody has ever actually said that.) Anyway, if you have the option to do your outdoor activities in the shade where it's cooler, you should definitely take advantage.
6. Cool Down Your Pulse Points
The blood vessels in your wrists, ankles, and the sides of your neck are closer to the skin. Placing a damp towel around your neck, running your wrists under a cold faucet, or simply soaking your feet in cool water will quickly bring your body temperature down.
7. Eat "Cooling" Foods When Outdoors
If you're going to eat while outdoors, try to focus on foods that contain a lot of water to keep you hydrated. Watermelon, cucumbers, pineapple, mango, zucchini, and cilantro will help you stay cooler when outdoors. Conversely, you should avoid foods that are going to increase your body's heat, such as brown rice, garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper.