© 2016 Kebba Buckley Button, M.S., O.M. World Rights Reserved.
It’s a brutal truth that three smart adults died in the Phoenix area recently, of heat stress; clearly, they needed good tips to beat heat stress. One of those who died was a fitness trainer, hiking at mid-day with two other health professionals. It was a 114-degree day. Sadly, intelligent professionals sometimes confuse personal strength of resolve with physics. You have to pay attention to the heat.
Understand that when the National Weather Service says it’s 114 out, they are providing the temperature taken in a protected environment. Those temperatures are read from instruments in a white louvered box at certain qualified locations. Those are not the temperatures of the air in the full sun, which are higher. Nor are they the temperatures of the pavement, which is often 150 degrees.
In the Summer heat where you live, have you felt great today? Or were you hot, tired, and fog-brained? Maybe even a little sick? So what can you do to protect yourself?
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. And don’t stop to think in the full sun! Adjust that grocery list before you go out the front door!
If you love to be outside, you can now buy special sun-blocking clothes from travel companies. You can get shirts designed to provide 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, but they are great for hiking. 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 (with the chlorine filtered out).
Remember what Rudyard Kipling said:
Only mad dogs and Englishmen
go out in the noonday sun.
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 a concern. And remember to drink water to hydrate your skin. Support your skin by also eating foods that can help it stay moist and young-looking: fresh fruits, avocados, and dark greens like kale and baby romaine. Get the organic versions if you can, and you’ll have more energy.
3. Use common sense. Rest if you need to. Plan extra time to get enough sleep every day. Nap if you need to. And focus on thriving, throughout the month. And be resolved to stay in your Upbeat Living!
Next time: Keeping your energy up when it’s over 100!
- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition, and Sacred Meditation. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.
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