In the Spotlight
Staying Cool When It is Hot
By VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Office of Patient Care Services
When we are feeling warm/hot, we perspire. The perspiration evaporates and that allows our bodies to cool. If our bodies do not cool correctly or cool enough, we can feel and become ill. Here are some things we can do to help stay cool.
- Dress for it. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting and light colored clothing. Wear a hat with a brim or use an umbrella to help block out the sun.
- Protect yourself. Do not get too much sun. Wear sunscreen. Wear sunglasses. Avoid being outdoors during the peak sun hours 10 am - 4 pm.
- Drink up. That would be plenty of water. Drink even when you do not feel thirsty. Water or 'sports' drinks are beneficial. Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages in the warm weather - they can cause dehydration.
- Eat small meals and eat more often. Eat cool foods such as salads. Avoid hot and heavy foods. Try to limit high protein foods. These can increase your metabolic (internal body) heat.
- Slow down and take it easy. Try to avoid strenuous activity. If that is not possible, then do it during the coolest part of the day, before 10AM or after 4PM.
- Take a break. Take regular breaks in the shade or cool area when it is hot.
- Stay indoors. When possible, stay indoors and spend more time in air conditioned places. Find a cooling center. Move your exercise indoors. Walk the air conditioned malls.
- Keep the shades down and blinds closed. Blocking out the sunlight will keep indoor temperatures cooler. Do a minimum of cooking. Use the oven only if absolutely necessary.
- If you take medications, talk to your pharmacist. Ask if you need to be extra careful during the warm weather.
Facts about Sunscreens (American Academy of Dermatology)
Last Updated May 9, 2017