Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How to Beat the Heat with FM

It's going to be almost 100° today and even higher with the heat index. Newscasters are warning folks to keep a close eye on the elderly and children who are more susceptible to heat. I would add those with fibromyalgia are more susceptible as well. We have a difficult time regulating body temperature, whether hot or cold, and extreme heat can zap our energy, leaving us with debilitating fatigue. When the temperatures rose last week, I tried to stay in the air conditioning as much as possible. I took my laptop to Starbucks to write an article that was due that day and stayed until my laptop ran out of juice. If I had thought ahead, I would have brought my cord to plug it into the outlet. Later, I went to my health club to exercise, just to be in the a/c and take a shower! Afterwards, I visited with friends who have central air conditioning. By that time, things had cooled down enough that I could go home and relax. A friend of mine who used to work as a carhop at a drive-in restaurant in Maine told me her trick - she would get her undies and bra wet with cold water and wear it under her uniform. As her body heat went up, the underwear got dry and kept her cool in the process. While everyone else ended the day wet with sweat, she ended the day dry and cool! I've never tried it, but I'm willing to give it a go this week with all the heat! 

Here are ten tips for beating the heat:
  1. As I said, stay in the air conditioning as much as possible. Go to the mall or the movies if you don't have a/c at home.
  2. Make your own air conditioning by putting a bowl of ice in front of your fan.
  3. Drink, drink, drink! Don't wait until you're thirsty because you may already be too low on water. Water is best. Avoid coffee and tea which has caffeine and alcohol which interferes with your body's ability to fight heat stress.
  4. Pull the shades down on the sunny side of the house.
  5. Take a cool bath or shower - it provides amazing relief from the heat 25 times faster than cool air. 
  6.  Avoid hot, heavy meals which add heat to your body. Eat smaller meals more often and avoid cooking on the stove during the hottest part of the day. My dad said cold watermelon was the food of choice when he was young (before air conditioning!).
  7. Wear light weight, light colored, comfortable clothing made of natural fabrics.
  8. Spritz yourself: keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator and give yourself a spray. You'll cool off as the water evaporates.
  9. Stay inside as much as you can. If you have to be outside, save strenuous activities for the cooler parts of the day and take breaks in a cool, shaded area.
  10. Use a buddy system to check in with neighbors or friends to make sure everyone is all right. Recognize the syptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:  heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea and fainting. The best ways to treat heat exhaustion is by drinking fluids, resting, or taking a cool shower. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can evolve into heat stroke, which is considered a medical emergency.
Related articles:

No comments:

Post a Comment