The heat is on…everywhere!

Back in the states this summer and I’m playing all my tunes featuring the heat.

Hotter Than Hell by Kiss is my new favorite. So, I’m watching Al Roker this morning on the Today Show and he features a map showing the entire country bathed in red…the color of intense heat. I left Chiang Mai to escape the oppressive heat and smog and it appears to have followed me thousands of miles to take up permanent residence in the greater, contiguous USA. It’s hot everywhere this summer!

I am visiting friends and relatives in many different locals this August and because it is so darn hot everywhere, it’s making it pretty easy to pack.  About the only difference I’m encountering is the humidity. Tucson visit: hot and dry, dry, dry. Virginia visit: hot and sorta humid.  Florida visit: hot, hot, hot, wet, wet, wet and humid to the max. Some days I don’t fee like I ever dry out. Or, when I go to the desert, I feel like every drop of moisture in my body has been sucked out by some kind of sweat vampire.

I will definitely remember this summer of two showers a day. So much for my desire to conserve water.

How to handle the heat is the topic of the day. One could just stay indoors all day in the aircon, I guess. But where’s the fun in that!?

K’s Top 12 Ways to Handle the Heat!

There are several habits you can adopt and items you can prepare to help you manage the heat.

  1. Know your local weather: You need to understand the weather. If the weather report that day says the UV index is high, then you must put on the sunscreen and/or cover up. You need to know where the shade is to park yourself and your transportation.
  2. Make a plan: Now you know the weather, make a plan for the day. Are yo going hiking? Take plenty of water is an easy to carry bottle or bota bag. A California grandfather and grandson recently perished on a simple day hike because they became overwhelmed by the heat and had no water. Going to the mail, or to see a movie. Great, it’s air conditioned in there. What about the car…where will you park it? Use the garage if there is one or find a shade tree or awning,if you must walk just a bit further tot he entrance.
  3. Let other’s know your plan: It is always a good idea, particularly if you like to go solo, to let at least one other person know what you’re planning to do.
  4. Keep these items handy: water, a few hard candies, a hat, an umbrella. The umbrella is not just to use when it rains; it also effectively blocks the sun and will keep you cooler. Sucking on a piece of candy helps you mouth keep from drying out.
  5. Go out early or later in the day: Know what time the peak temperature are in your area. At my mother’s place, the hottest temps are not at noon, but at 3 – 5 in the afternoon. If we’re going to get a walk in, we do it before noon or after 7pm.
  6. Put your spritzer and moisturizer in the fridge: This is a personal favorite. I use an herbal spritzer to add moisture to my face. I keep it in the fridge during the hot months and five my face and neck a spritz right before I walk out the door. I also keep a moisturizer in there. It feels so nice and cool when I put it on and cools me right down.
  7. Wear a bandana: When you watch an old Western movie, you see all the cowboys wearing a bandana around their necks. Why? Because it mops up sweat. It can be rinsed out in water and replaced around your neck to lower your body temp.
  8. Wear a hat: A hat that is white or light colored, or straw and has air holes is best.
  9. Dress appropriately: Do not wear black or other dark colors. Wear reflective, light colors or white. Choose clothing made of cotton, flax, linen or blends of these. There are plenty of new fabrics out there, too. The shirts and underwear made by companies like UnderArmor and Columbia say they wick moisture from the body and cool you off. Personally, I prefer natural fabrics but each person should wear what feels best next to her skin.
  10. Layer your clothing: You may think you should only ear thin little strapped tops when it’s hot, but that will not protect you from the sun. Getting sunburned or sun stroked would be worse. Make sure to have a long sleeved shirt to throw over the tank top.
  11. Eat lightly, drink prudently: When it’s hot is NOT the time to eat a huge steak dinner. This will just be too taxing on your system. Eat light meals with lots of veggies and fruit which contain extra water. Git a little salt in your diet as well.  This will help you to drink more water, Similarly, drink lightly when it comes to alcohol. Granted, there is nothing like a cold, cold beer or an icy margarita on a hot day. But seriously, alcohol dehydrated the body. You must drink carefully, judiciously and follow every drink with at least one glass of water.
  12. Drink water: Seems like this goes without saying, but you would be surprised how many people forget to drink water. There are some good apps that help you remember to do this. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water everyday is one of those habits everyone can and should develop.

Hope the remainder of your summer is as wonderful as mine. Be wise and stay cool!