What to Know About Keeping Cool When You’re Outside this Summer

Posted April 30, 2022 by in Lifestyle
Woman sitting on beach chair

We are not far from the summer months that kids anticipate so much. They get some time off from school, and they might plan on playing pickup softball and hanging out at the neighborhood swimming pool for most of that time.

Adults don’t usually get a summer vacation, though they might take at least a little time off to spend with the family. No matter your age, though, you should stay cool and avoid too much sun exposure when you’re spending time outdoors this year. We’ll take a few moments to explain why right now.

Smiling Woman on Beach Wearing Black and White Striped Shirt and Blue Short Shorts

Heatstroke

Different methods can aid in keeping one cool outdoors. For instance, you might wear a hat to protect your head from direct sunlight. You can also slather on some sunscreen, and you can reapply it throughout the day if you’re going to be outdoors for multiple hours at a time.

Heatstroke is one of the main reasons why you will want to do this. You can suffer heatstroke before much time elapses if you are out in direct sunlight and you are either exercising, or you’re in a very hot climate, like Arizona, Nevada, Texas, or parts of California.

If you suffer heat stroke, your body cannot control your temperature. Your temperature rises quickly, and the sweating mechanism fails. Essentially, your body cannot cool down like it usually can because you’ve triggered a crisis condition.

It’s pretty common for you to hear about a football player or some other athlete suffering heatstroke if they tried to play or practice during the sun’s hottest hours. In some instances, the athlete recovers, but sometimes they don’t.

To avoid heatstroke, you can take the actions we’ve already mentioned, but you should also make sure to hydrate yourself. You should drink plenty of water and sports drinks that can replenish your electrolytes. You can also limit the amount of time you spend in the sun on days when you know the temperature will soar.

Skin Cancer

You should attempt to avoid spending too much time in the sun because of skin cancer. Skin cancer sometimes occurs if you spend too much time in direct sunlight without the proper protection.

If you have skin cancer, your epidermis produces out-of-control abnormal cells. Ultraviolet light exposure usually causes it. You can sustain UV light exposure from direct sunlight, but some people also expose themselves through tanning beds.

Damaging your skin’s DNA often causes cancer. When you alter the DNA, you can’t control skin cell growth. If you use sunblock, stay out of the direct sunlight for more than a few minutes at a time, or wear protective headgear and clothing, you stand much less chance of developing this condition.

You Can Feel Sick

You can also feel sick if you spend too much time in the sun, even if you never approach heatstroke levels. If you’re an older individual, you might have this issue. If you’re overweight or obese, you may also tolerate less direct sun exposure before feeling ill.

You might feel sick or dizzy if you ingest too much alcohol and you’re out in the sun during the summer heat. You may also have this issue if you have poor circulation, heart disease, or certain other medical conditions.

Other Ways to Stay Cool

We’ve talked about some ways to stay cool during the summer heat, but we’ve got a few more suggestions we’ll run through right now. You might take a cold or shower if you feel overheated. You can simply strip down and step into the shower while keeping the knob set to a cooler temperature. That can provide nearly instant relief.

You might wet a washcloth with cold water and drape it over your neck or wrists. You can also set up box fans on a deck or patio if you plan to spend some time outside during the day’s hotter hours.

You can seek shade. You might spend some time under a tree or set up an umbrella and shelter under that. If you would like to stay outside but want to keep cool, shade is one of your best defenses.  

You can also alternate between staying outside for a while and then going indoors where it’s cooler. If you feel like you’re getting too hot, you can take a break indoors before heading back out. Whether you’re outside for play or work this summer, make sure not to overdo it with the direct sunlight.