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© Kebba Buckley Button 2010.  World rights reserved.

So before you moved here, did they tell you the summers can be a bit warm in Phoenix and Tucson? Now that it’s July, have you realized that was a good heads-up?  Yes, you’re now living in the region where people say things like, “It’s only 100 degrees today!” In our hot weeks, feeling good, being well, and being productive can be challenging. But you can feel great and enjoy our summer, if you take these tips to heart:

1.  Get out of the heat. Do get 15 minutes of sun on your hands and face each day, for your body to produce enough Vitamin D. But you can get that while driving to an errand. The rest of the time, get out of the sun or wear sunscreen and sleeves. If you love to be outside, you can now buy special sun-blocking clothes from travel companies. You can get shirts designed to SPF 50 or higher, plus broad-brimmed hats with mesh-side crowns for through-flow of air. More difficult to find is the safari hat with its own built-in fan. Cooling neck scarves are now widely available. Soak them to activate the gel inside, and store them in the frij between wearings.  Water bottles, with a battery-operated personal fan attached, are amusing and do actually help you keep cooler.

If you get too much heat, you’ll generally know it. But if people tell you your face is bright red, this is not good.  If your skin is totally dry, or if you feel nauseated or are vomiting, or if you feel totally drained and confused, these are clues you have heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Get to a cool, dim place, put a cool, damp cloth on your forehead, and try to drink water (chlorine removed).

2.  Protect your skin. If you don’t want to cover it, at least wear some sunscreen. There are new generations of sunscreen in clear or opaque forms, or colored to function as makeup foundation. Many moisturizers and makeup products contain SPF 15 or higher for day use. Powdered mineral-based foundation makeups provide non-chemical SPF 15. If you’re wild to have tan skin, and you weren’t born with it, check out spray tanning or tanning moisturizers. Be aware that these do not provide sun protection, however, and skin cancer is rampant here. And remember to drink water. Support your skin by also eating foods that can help skin stay moist and young-looking.  These include dark greens, avocado, and fruits.

3.  Use common sense. Rest if you need to. Plan extra time to get sufficient sleep daily.  And focus on thriving, throughout the month.

Next time: Keeping your energy up when it’s over 100!