Heat hacks to stay cool while enjoying the outdoors this summer

Published: Jul. 18, 2019 at 6:12 AM EDT
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SOUTHEASTERN N.C. (WECT) - Temperatures in the Cape Fear region have been in the 90′s recently. It’s been hotter than average, even for this time of year.

We’ve all heard the common ways to stay cool: drink water, take frequent breaks, and work in the shade.

“A lot of times, naturally, shade is a good thing,” says Southport Police Chief Todd Coring. “Just try to sit down and take a break and try to sip on water to stay hydrated.”

But sometimes, that’s not enough to stay safe during these sweltering days.

Here are some tips and tricks to beat the heat, especially for those outside working or even playing.

Keep a wet towel and sunscreen in a cooler. When it’s time to reapply sunscreen, you can simultaneously cool yourself down when working to protect yourself from the sun. A wet towel or paper towel can also bring your body temperature down and can be reused throughout the day.

Wear breathable clothes. Wear light fabric, like cotton, that is able to absorb sweat and let you feel the breeze.

Go for a swim. Take a quick dip in a pool or ocean. Just a few minutes in the water can cool you down. If you’re working outside and not near water, maybe take a break and jump in a cold shower for a few minutes before going back to work.

Make sure your fan is spinning the right way. If your fan isn’t rotating counter-clockwise, you probably aren’t getting any cooler. Make sure it’s spinning the right way. If you have a portable fan and an accessible outlet, use it while you’re working outside. Keeping the cool air on your skin can do wonders in the high heat.

Apply ice or a cold water bottle to pulse points. It’s important to know your body’s quick cool spots: the insides of your wrists, the back of your neck, behind your knees, and your temples. These are areas where your blood vessels are the closest to the surface of your skin. Apply some ice or a cold bottle there every so often for a quick cool down.

Drink minted beverages. Brew some peppermint tea in the morning and throw it in the fridge. Drink it during the day for a cool, refreshing treat. Mint gives off a cooling effect and is also hydrating.

Work in the early mornings. The temperatures are a lot cooler in the mornings. If you must be outside, whether it’s for exercise, work, or leisure, try to spend the majority of it outside in the mornings.

Those are just somethings you can do throughout the day to keep your body cool, but it’s important to remember the signs of heat stroke and exhaustion.

“A lot of people don’t realize that when you do stop sweating, that that’s a major concern and you need to call 911 right away,” says Chief Coring. “We’re just trying to make sure they [people] know, just take your time, take breaks, sit down a little bit, and get in the shade."

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