High temperatures in the summer months can cause severe long term damage through Heat Strokes and Sun Damage. Heat Exhaustion is a more common effect of extreme temperatures that occurs when the body’s interal thermostat is overwhelmed and causes headches, dizziness and loss of conciousness. However, heat related illnesses are usually preventable by taking simple precautions.
- Stay Hydrated– The most important tip to follow in summer is to constantly keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of fluids. An easy way to do this is to carry a water bottle and take medium sips at frequent intervals. A healthy adult should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Adding lemon and honey to your water or juice adds flavor and increases the cooling potential of the drink!
- Wear Sunscreen- While getting your daily intake of Vitamin D from sunlight is healthy, too much Sun can have a negative impact on your skin, from sunburns to wrinkles to skin cancer. The best way to prevent sun damage, is by applying sunscreen (SPF 30 and above) about 15-25 minutes before exposure to the Sun, to allow the sunscreen to be absorbed by the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is essential for skin protection and should be done every 2 hours. Invest in SPF lip balm to protect your lips from harmful rays and prevent them from becoming chapped and discolored.
- Cover your Head and Eyes– The part of the body that takes the most damage from Sun exposure is usually the top of your head and by extension, your hair. Protect these parts of the body by wearing a hat or a cap before going outdoors during the day. While hats provide some amount of shade for your eyes, this is usually not sufficient. Wear sunglasses during hours of bright sunlight to protect your eyesight and prevent damage to your eyesight and formation of cataracts. Some people prefer to carry umbrellas to shield them from the Sun’s hot rays.
- Eat Right– What you put in your body is even more important than what you put on your body to keep cool. Eating right to beat the heat involves primarily eating light, frequent meals rather than rich foods that make you feel heavy. Fruits with high water content like watermelon, oranges and veggies like cucumber and celery are great snack foods for throughout the day. Apart from keeping you hydrated, these foods can actually thin the blood, which has a significant cooling effect on the body.