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How To Stay Cool and Hydrated During Outdoor Summer Activities

The summer heat is here, but make sure to stay cool and hydrated no matter what you do.
8-4A Stay Cool
Staying hydrated is especially important after any outdoor activity.

Heat is what most of us have been waiting for all winter! And now that it is here, well, it can be a bit too much. That doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the wonderful summer activities, but it is important to stay cool and hydrated. Dehydration on a hot summer day can lead to heat cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke. Here are some tips on what to wear, what to eat and drink, and what to do to avoid too much exposure.

Dress for the Weather

A loose linen or cotton shirt is best for very hot days. Light colours don’t attract the heat as much as dark clothing. Dark clothing absorbs more heat and tight clothes don’t let sweat, the body’s natural cooling system, evaporate.

Protecting yourself from the sun is a different thing from protection from the heat. If you want your clothing to protect you from UV rays, dark clothing is better. Those colours absorb the heat, so the sun rays don’t penetrate your skin. Special UV protective clothing helps you stay dry and contains dyes and chemicals to block the sun’s rays.

Sunglasses, Hats, and Sunscreen

These items are fashionable and protective. Don’t forget them! Be sure that the SPF on the sunscreen is at least a 30, and waterproof if you are doing things outdoors.

Stay Hydrated with Water

Drinking enough water is key and the very best beverage to drink in the heat. In any weather it is important to drink more water than you think you need. That is at least 8 glasses a day, and more with summer activities where you are moving and sweating. When plain water gets a bit boring, fruit juice without added sugar is nutritious and contains vitamin C and other essential elements. Alcohol is not refreshing, so if beer or cocktails are part of your summer fun, drink a glass of water in between.

Foods to Keep You Cool

Many fruits and beverages contain a lot of water. Watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes and bell peppers are popular in the summer heat because of their water content. Try some of these creative hydrating ideas.

Have you ever wondered why people in warm climates eat hot, spicy foods? It’s not just for flavour! Spice makes you sweat, which helps your body cope and cools you down.

Chicken breast is a good meat for a summer salads and curries. It is low fat and low salt. This is good in summer since fat and salt put extra strain on the body’s cooling system.

Stay out of the Sun!

Choose cooler times of the day to have fun in the sun. Staying indoors, or in the shade relaxing when the sun is hottest around noon times is a good idea. Take an afternoon nap!

Don’t Forget About Your Pets

These members of your family can become dehydrated too. Panting helps keeps dogs hydrated, but did you know that their sweat glands are located in their paw pads? They need water and access to shade too. If the surface of the pavement is too hot for your hand, then it is too hot for their paws.  Here are other tips from the ASPCA to help you avoid heat stroke in your pets.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Airdrie Denture Centre for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.
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