How to Beat the Heat? Try These Top Five Tips
by Lou-Ann Jordan Sep 18, 2023
Many of us were excited about July. Certainly, schoolchildren were. It signalled the start of the vacation, which is always greatly anticipated. It’s usually a time when the kids get to relax, and parents no longer need to juggle drop-offs, pickups, after-school activities, home and work. Also, we’re all happy when the roads become less crowded. No one misses the typical traffic jams during the school term.
But, what many of us were not prepared for this July were the scorching temperatures. It was hot! In fact, July 2023 has earned the title of the hottest month on record ever! Still, July left, August rolled on with temperatures still high, and September, though still early, seems to be aiding in creating a new record—the hottest year in history! Though we’re only two weeks into the month, the hot weather is unbearable. You don’t have to exert much energy to find yourself drenched.
So, what do we do as we await cooler temperatures? We protect ourselves, our children, and seniors from heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Of course, many of us know what we should do, yet we don’t. While running the AC does help, there are other measures, and may we say less expensive ones, that will benefit you and your family. Also, they’re super simple. You may be aware of some of these, but we want to take the time to remind you to do them.
Here are five top tips that can help you beat the heat!
Hydrate. You’re probably tired of hearing this, but it’s the number one requirement if you want to stay cool and healthy amid warm temperatures. However, there is such a thing as being too hydrated. By drinking too much water, you run the risk of developing Hyponatremia. The Mayo Clinic explains that too much water can cause your sodium levels to dilute, resulting in an abnormal spike in your body’s water levels, affecting your cells. So, don’t overdo it. Examine your urine to ensure you’re within safe margins. If it’s pale yellow, then you’re adequately hydrated.
Eat water-based foods. Stock up on watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, lettuce, kale, etc. These can be added to your diet over the month or until things cool down. Pack some of these as snacks for your young ones as they head off to school if you’re uncertain about their daily water intake. Fortunately, watermelons are currently in season. However, browse this article, Caribbean Fruits: A List of Fruits in Season from July to December, for an extensive list of fruits in season this and next month.
Wear sunblock. It doesn’t matter the shade of your skin or gender; sunblock is essential once you’re outdoors. Those UV rays are doing damage even if it’s not immediately visible. Check out our article on A Beginner’s Guide to Sun Protection Factor (SPF) – Protect Your Skin if you’re unclear about SPF or need help choosing the right degree of protection.
Cover up outdoors. Wear long-sleeved tops and full trousers if you spend long hours in the sun. While applying sunscreen to exposed areas is helpful, covering your arms and legs from direct sunlight is advisable. We know this sounds counterproductive, but trust us, it’s best. However, opt for light, breathable fabrics that allow air to pass through but protect you from the intense sun rays. Also, cover your head when possible.
Engage in water activities. Cool down at the beach, waterfall, river, or spring. Of course, you can use the earlier tips along with this one. That said, why not add a relaxing after-work swim to your routine, especially on those days when the weather is more scorching than usual? On the weekend, switch off the air conditioning unit, gather the family, head to the beach, or engage in other water activities. Doing so is an excellent way to keep the kids and any seniors in your home cool. Another option is the Get Grenada Swimming team’s free swimming classes on Saturday mornings. The sessions offered to adults and children resumed at the beginning of September.
This hot weather is no joke. Rather than talk about the heat, do something to safeguard your health and your loved ones. You may find these tips quite helpful in beating the heat. Also, remember the young and elderly are particularly vulnerable.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, NASA, and Washington Post.