5 Tips that Will Help You Beat the Heat this Summer

There are so many amazing outdoor activities in Michigan to enjoy all summer long, like camping in Pentwater, fishing in Saugatuck or kayaking in Eagle Harbor. But as fun as it is to take advantage of the warm weather, spending hours under the sun can take a toll on your body. Many people end up in the hospital every year due to self-reported dehydration or complaints related to the sun or heat. Don’t let a trip to the ER ruin a fun summer outing with these five tips:

  1. Dress in lightweight and light-colored clothing. White and yellow reflect heat better than black fabric, helping keep you cool during the day. And make sure your little ones are dressed in light colors too—infants and children up to four years old are at higher risk of getting sick from the heat.
  2. Stay hydrated. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, it’s important to drink water every 15 minutes if you’re sweating. This will ensure that you’re replenishing the fluid you’re losing and staying hydrated.
  3. Schedule activities for the cooler times of the day. The morning and evening are cooler and less humid than the middle of the day. Try kayaking at sunrise or even an outdoor moonlight yoga class to change up your activities and still avoid the hottest times of the day.
  4. Try to take cool-down breaks. If you do end up spending a lot of time outside in the middle of the day, make sure you go inside every now and then to lower your body temperature. If you don’t have access to a building, you can also rest in a shaded area to avoid heat illnesses.
  5. Use sunscreen. Sunburns are a serious side effect of being unprotected outside for too long since they can increase your risk for developing skin cancer. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and reapply every two to three hours depending on exposure and activities such as swimming.

Be sure that you are always keeping an eye out for anyone that you think may be experiencing dehydration or a heat-related illness. Signs of heat-related illness may include dizziness, headache, nausea, convulsions and even fainting. Remember to always seek professional or medical help if you notice anyone suffering from a heat-related illness and stay with that individual until help arrives.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

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