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10 dos and don'ts for staying cool during a heat wave


With temperature soaring in the southwest this week, it’s time to turn our attention from pool-perfect abs (get ‘em here) to staying cool—and safe—despite the way-over-100-degree weather we’ve been seeing lately. Here are our top-10 dos and don’ts for making it through this sizzlin’ summer.

 

Do stay hydrated. Have a bottle of water handy wherever you go, especially if you’re venturing outside. Sip from it regularly and you’ll be fine. If you’re thirsty, take a break from activity and drink up. Ignoring thirst can lead to dehydration.

 

Don’t avoid the great outdoors. You can still go swimming, hang in the hammock and bike around the block…but avoiding Mother Nature when the sun is at its strongest and the temps their warmest around midday (think: two o’clock)

 

Do wear light colored clothes. It might seem silly, but choosing pastels instead of darks makes a big difference because of the way certain colors and shades reflect or absorb light.

 

Don’t get skimpy. It’s not so much about how much you wear as it is about what you wear. Opt for loose-fitting, natural fabrics that will wick sweat away from your body and keep you cool.

 

Do be aware of sickness symptoms. Heat illness, exhaustion and heatstroke are not to be disregarded. Early symptoms include profuse sweating, fatigue, thirst and muscle cramps, followed by headache, dizziness, weakness and nausea. A fever above 104 degrees, confusion, rapid and shallow breathing or a weak pulse and dry, hot and red skin are all symptoms of heatstroke. If you aren’t feeling so hot, lie down in a cool place and put your feet up. Apply cool cloths (or cool water) directly to your skin. Sip cool water or sports drinks, like Gatorade. If you’re not feeling better soon, or start showing signs of shock, get help ASAP.

 

Don’t sweat the sweat. Trust us, everyone is working one up doing pretty much nothing when it’s this hot outside. Sweat is the way your body naturally regulates your internal temperature, so let the good stuff roll.

 

Do hang out in the dark. Stick to shady spots and naturally cooler locations (think: basements), keep your blinds closed and lights off when possible.

 

Don’t forget about at risk people and pets. The elderly, young children and animals need your help. Set up a neighborhood watch to make sure animals are indoors, senior citizens have plenty of water and access to A.C. or fans and that kids are taking breaks and staying hydrated.

 

Do hit the gym. Air conditioning, showers and TV while you work out? Awesome.

 

Don’t push it. Sure, you might be able to run a six-minute mile, but when the weather is dangerous, it’s time to tone it down. Switch up your workout routine so you’re jogging lightly in the a.m. or evening, head to the gym or the pool and stay out of the sun whenever possible. It’s easy to think you’re indestructible, but heat-related illnesses creep up on you, and they can be deadly. Stay safe, sweeties!

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 7/1/2013 4:34:00 PM

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