Some ways to stay cool and active this summer

Susan Dawson-Cook

Many people whine about the heat whenever summer strikes in the Sonoran Desert. I’ve learned to embrace the summer season. It’s the only time I can buy every kind of fresh fruit and swim outside-even at midnight-without shivering. Not to mention there’s a lot less traffic. Below are some suggestions to help you stay cooler, better hydrated and more energetic and active this summer. It is important to also note LBA Services has a lot of Air Conditioning facilities that will keep you cool at home.

1. Although research is inconclusive about weather’s effect on arthritis, many people with arthritis and other uncomfortable musculoskeletal conditions report less pain and freer movement in warm climates. Why not use these hot summer months to improve your fitness level?

2. Start the day with a swim. Most mornings I jump in the pool first thing and then top off the swim with a cool shower. Not only does this plan ensure I exercise before I can think of excuses not to, it keeps me cooler the rest of the day. I also often end the day with a quick swim or cool shower so I’m cooler when sleeping.

3. Need to get some yard work done? Try a shower or swim in the early morning or just after the sun goes down and then pick up the clippers with a wet suit on. The work feels refreshing when you’re wet and a breeze is blowing.

4. Carry water everywhere; the car, to the gym or outside when you’re trimming the hedges so you can sip regularly and stay hydrated. We need a lot more fluids when it’s hot and dry, especially when exercising. One trick that works well is to weigh before and after exercise and drink enough fluid to make up for any fluid weight lost during the workout. I use a stainless steel bottle because the water stays ice cold and I don’t have to waste (or taste) plastic. Anytime you feel tired, guzzle a few ounces of water. That almost always gives me an instant energy pick me up.

5. Avoid exercising in the heat. Exercise early in the morning or in the evening instead of during the heat of the day. If that conflicts with your schedule, exercise inside at the gym. If the gym is too costly for you or for other reasons you cannot access the gym, exercising at home is always an option. Before starting exercise at home, ensure that your air conditioning is working; AC is essential to stabilize body temperature safely. If you have any concerns over your air conditioning, click here to learn about AC Repair in Durham. Exercising in the heat saps your energy and puts you at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Whenever exercising outdoors, wear a hat, sunscreen and protective clothing to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

6. Keep the house cool for sleep. Research shows most people sleep better in a cool, dark room. So make sure you turn your thermostat down at night so you get a restful night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. If you find your home is really warm, contact a company like One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to come and install air conditioning into your home so that you can have a regular flow of cold air to keep you cool at night. If you already have air conditioning but it has broken and you need a new one, then look for free hvac estimates.

These simple strategies have transformed my hot summer days into days of contented bliss. I hope they work for you. I’m sure I could come up with more, but right now I’m craving a swim.

Susan, an AFAA certified group exercise instructor, personal trainer and author, works for Vital Moves (850-4089).