While summer lovers might say you can never have too much of a good thing, the weather might disagree.
More than 85% of Americans are bracing for continued days of intense temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while those in the South and Central parts of the country could see digits rise well into the triples.
If the 100 million currently under heat advisories aren’t careful, temperatures could become a lot more than simply irritating. Yet, no one can likely stay inside all day. So how can you and your family take on the sun while staying active and healthy?
Make Sure To Have The Right Drink In Hand
It goes without saying that fluids are critical to a person’s health during intense heat waves. Drink water throughout the day, even when you aren’t thirsty. That way, you won’t risk dehydration.
Additionally, plain water shouldn’t be your first go-to: coconut water and lemon water are particularly effective. Coconut water acts as an excellent source of potassium, amino acids, and minerals, and is fat-free to boot.
While this might be excruciating, stay away from caffeine, alcohol, energy, and sugary drinks during the hottest parts of the day. These can help to make you dehydrated much quicker due to their contents not being able to replace fluid lost from sweating.
Snacks are important when it comes to maintaining energy and ensuring an intake of water. Cucumbers are the most water-packed vegetable with 95% and are also a good source of fiber.
Apples are equally solid snacks — with 85.56 grams of water per 100-gram serving — along with celery, lettuce, and watermelon. Avoid food that is high in sugar, like candy or bread.
Take Time To Prep And Dress For The Occasion
In addition to keeping fluid and snacks around at all times, take precautions with what you throw on. Heavier clothes should obviously be avoided in favor of lightweight and breathable outfits.
Darker colors, like black, can increase the heat and sweat you feel, so light colors will be your friend.
The same dress code should apply to children and babies as well, who are more prone to heat-related health risks due to their still-maturing sweat glands, smaller body mass to surface area ratio, and general lack of judgment or knowledge about weather conditions and exertion.
It’s also beneficial to see how the temperature will vary throughout the day, as well as what that day’s humidity looks like. Understand that some activities should only be done at certain times of the day.
Speaking to The Washington Post, U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer George Chiampas emphasized that before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m. are times you should try to plan your children’s activities for, as these are likely to be the coolest parts of the day.
Keep An Eye On Yourself Or Your Children
It’s important to have an action plan in case you or a member of your family runs into a potential heat risk. Signs of dehydration include dizziness or light-headedness, a dry mouth or lips, tiredness, and darker-colored urine.
Heat strokes show many of the same signs, along with clammy or pale skin, cramping, and a changed mental state. If you notice yourself or a child showing these, you should immediately relocate to a shaded or air-conditioned area.
While seeking medical assistance, drink and apply cold water onto your body, either through the use of a washcloth, a bath or shower, or a body of water.
Andrew Rhoades is a Contributing Reporter at The National Digest based in New York. A Saint Joseph’s University graduate, Rhoades’ reporting includes sports, U.S., and entertainment. You can reach him at email@example.com.