Here Come the Dog Days of Summer
8 Tips to Stay Cool in Extreme Heat
Ever wondered what Dog Days of Summer really means? Believe it or not, the phrase dates back hundreds of years, and relates to the rising of Sirius, also known as the Dog Star. Sirius, part of the constellation Canis Major, is brightest from the middle to end of August. Ancient astronomers believed that the combination of daytime sun and Sirius at night was responsible for extreme summer temperatures. Over time, people have associated this time of year with feeling tired and lethargic, or dog tired!
It is easy to understand why people have less energy in extreme heat. As temperatures rise, the body has to work harder to cool itself, which can lead to dehydration and fatigue. High temperatures also lead to increased perspiration and further dehydration. While it is always important to stay hydrated, it is especially important during periods of extreme heat.
To help you stay cool during those hot summer days, here are eight tips to try:
- Stay hydrated. Drink lots of cool or cold water to help your body better process the heat. Cooling iced teas are also a good choice.
- Exercise early in the morning or late evening, before the sun’s rays and heat can wear you down.
- Take extra showers- cool water will feel great on hot skin.
- Wear loose fitting, light colored cotton clothing. Dark clothing absorbs heat and makes you feel hotter.
- Remember that dishwashers, computers, tvs, and other appliances generate heat. Run your dishwasher when you go to bed, limit using the oven when possible, and save tv time for when it’s cooler.
- Traditional light bulbs generate a great amount of heat. Invest in some Energy Star compact fluorescent bulbs. Your lights will emit 75% less heat and you will save on your electric bill as well.
- Keep curtains or shades closed until the heat breaks in the late afternoon or evening.
- Ensure a good night’s sleep by using cotton bedding and keep a good quality fan nearby.
While summer is fading, you can expect high temperatures and humidity later this month. Remember to plan your errands early in the morning when possible, and try out some of the above suggestions to help you stay cool as a cucumber throughout the day. Nobody likes being overheated, so stay cool, relax, and be well.
Next time we will talk more about staying cool. Think ice cream is a cooling treat on a hot day? The truth may surprise you! Tune in next time for ideas on cooling and refreshing foods and drinks.
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