Beat the heat and enjoy the outdoors comfortably with these useful pointers from a doctoral student.
Across the nation, a historic heat wave is spreading from the Southwest to the Northeast. Despite the scorching weather, people may still desire to embrace the summer and enjoy outdoor activities. To avoid overheating, Eric Green (@eric_the_green), a medical anthropology master's degree holder pursuing a doctorate in the same field, has produced a series of videos sharing valuable tips on staying cool during this time.
Green's posts include insights on the benefits of using everyday items such as hats and umbrellas to shield oneself from the sun's rays. In his video about hat recommendations, Green emphasized that placing any material between your head and the sun can prevent heat absorption from the upper body. Additionally, he mentioned several other simpler alternatives to carrying an umbrella that can help stay cool and protected from the sun. Another tip that Green suggested was regularly rinsing off your forearms with water. This can allow you to cool down your body temperature and provide relief from the heat.
According to Green, the concept behind this tip is to apply water to areas of the body where blood vessels are near the surface. The coolness of the water helps lower the temperature of the blood. As it evaporates, it effectively draws heat away from the body. This technique can be applied to the head, neck, ankles and feet. However, Green acknowledges that pouring water on these areas might not always be practical.
Many of Green's viewers have already started implementing this advice and have experienced positive results. @easysilence5 commented, "As a fellow Tampa person, and a scientist that works outside year round, your videos have been so helpful!!!" Another user, @gregariousgoth, shared, "As somebody as light-sensitive as Dracula, I favor the double-walled umbrellas!" @soarmallard provided an insight about the weather in Canada, saying, "I wish shade was enough in Canada; when it's hot, you just have to stay inside. The heat is in the air, not the sun."
Due to the ongoing heat wave, many Midwest and East Coast areas face temperatures ranging from the mid-90s to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Prolonged exposure to such extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion. To recover from heat exhaustion, there are several actions people can take, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic:
1. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing for better airflow and heat dissipation.
2. Protect yourself against sunburn using appropriate sun protection, such as wearing hats and sunscreen.
3. Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, to replace the fluids lost through sweating.
4. Be cautious with certain medications, as some may increase sensitivity to heat or impair the body's ability to cool down.
5. Never leave anyone, including pets, in a parked car, as temperatures can quickly reach dangerous levels.
6. Take it easy and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day, typically the afternoon.
7. Gradually acclimate yourself to the heat, especially if you need to get used to high temperatures.
8. Exercise caution if you belong to high-risk groups, such as the elderly, young children or individuals with certain medical conditions, as they are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.