Summer is in full swing, and the sun feels hotter than ever. Recently, as I walked along the shores of Lake Michigan, I thought the fresh air felt amazing. What I didn’t realize was the strength of the sun through hazy skies. In a matter of 2 hours I became burned; I had spf15 sunscreen on. Once you become sunburned it’s easy to feel over heated and even chilled, which is not a good feeling. Now with temperatures in the 90’s plus, overheating the body can become dangerous. It’s important to know how to beat the heat.

Remaining cool during scorching temps in summer months is vital for your health. Overheating the body can cause one to have a heat stroke or become very ill quickly. First and foremost…drink plenty of water. Carry a thermal container or small cooler wherever you go. McDonalds will sell you a bag of ice for $1.00, any location at any time. Coconut water is an awesome source for hydrating, as it helps revitalize your body. Drinks such as Gatorade, PowerAde and other similar products also contain electrolytes, so it gives your body the necessary fluids to stay charged. Sweating in the heat causes one to lose those electrolytes, so make sure you get plenty.

Healthy foods during the heat also play an important role, especially for cooling down. Watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries are high in water content, while vegetables like cucumbers and celery can be used for giving you a cool down effect. Aloe Vera has multiple uses and is an excellent source for sunburn as well as heat stroke. You can use the plant leaves or purchase gel in the store which can be applied to the skin; though it can be used in a drink also. Normally it is said that one should avoid spicy foods in the heat, however…I did read where chili was accepted as a food to cool the body down, because the capsaicin in chili’s will send a message to the brain telling it your over heated.

When outdoors always wear sunglasses and a hat; keeping your head cooler will help in cooling your entire body. Wear looser and lighter colored clothing, so the sun is less absorbent to you. If you are one to get headaches from the heat, then keep a cold rag on the back of your neck; it diminishes the aches. You may also wear a cold rag on your forehead for a similar effect. Putting your feet into a cold bath also helps in cooling the body; adding a drop of peppermint oil can even give a relaxing feeling while soaking.

Last but not least, while one must drink plenty of fluids, don’t forget that eating frozen popsicles, snow cones and other iced or frozen treats all help in maintaining coolness. Take a cool bath, go swimming and keep exercise to a minimal. Enjoy the summer, but stay cool!!!

Make your week count.