Mercy sakes alive! We are already back to the heat and humidity of summer. There is nothing worse than knowing you have to go out in that and work. We need a few good ways to beat the heat.
One thing we need to remember is that heatstroke is a strong possibility and something we want to avoid at all costs. While digging a trench around our chicken coop this morning, I was sweating before I moved five feet. My mind was racing with all the ways I could remember to stay cool.
Here are a few things you can do to beat the heat:
If your job is trying to maintain a farm or other at-home jobs, shift your hours. Get outside just as it is getting daylight. Pay attention to the path of the sun, and do the chores on the shady side first. As the sun passes through the sky and that area loses its shade, move to the next shady area.
Hydrate. Make sure you drink plenty of water BEFORE you go outside. And whether you like it or not, avoid caffeine-laden drinks – coffee, sodas, even energy drinks, before and while you are working outside.
Caffeine is considered a diuretic and contributes to loss of hydration. Stick with water and sports drinks. Also, don’t drink ice-cold drinks. The coldness causes your blood vessels to constrict and limits the hydration intake. Make it just a cool drink. And if you just have to have that morning cup of coffee, make it decaffeinated.
Take breaks. Plenty of them. (You get extra points if you do this in a hammock!) And hydrate while you are resting. It may take a bit longer to complete the task at hand, but it will help you keep going.
And don’t ‘sweat’ not getting everything done. It’s better to have to move something to the next day, rather than having to move them to next month due to having heat stroke.
Wear a hat, sunscreen, a cooling neck wrap and light weight clothes, such as cotton. If you don’t have a neck wrap, try carrying a small ice chest. Place a couple of bandanas in the ice water. Wrap one around your neck and head. As the day progresses, change them out.
You can actually beat the heat by eating sensibly. Try fruit, nuts, leafy greens – even avocados. They help to replace the electrolytes you lose while sweating.
Consider putting off some of those harder jobs that require heavier lifting to the fall and winter months, if possible.
And if all else fails – head inside, grab a good book, a Pudding Popsicle, and park yourself in front of a fan or the air conditioner. Trust me, I am seriously considering doing that right now – and it’s not even ten in the morning!