Staying cool in the summer heat | The Triangle
Opinion

Staying cool in the summer heat

Philly has experienced quite the heat wave this week with temperatures well over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. With the long weekend and holiday approaching, most of us have already made plans to spend hours outside, but it is important to take care of our bodies while enjoying the weather. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind while you plan your beach getaway, fireworks watch party or just a relaxing day in the sun.

Sunscreen is a must. The importance of SPF has been drilled into most of us by the time we hit elementary school, but this is still a good reminder. Whether you are notorious for ending the summer multiple shades darker or turn pink just thinking about the sun, a layer of sunscreen protects us from harmful rays, cancer and other skin issues. Even on cloudy days, our skin is still susceptible to the sun’s UV rays. And don’t forget to reapply!

If you do end up with a sunburn, be sure to apply some aloe vera gel. The gel can be bought from the pharmacy, or you can grow the plant yourself and extract the gel from its leaves and apply it straight to your skin for instant relief.

Drinking water is vital during these hot summer days, especially for people like me who have the tendency to forget! I have gotten into the habit of carrying my water bottle everywhere I go, and I use refillable water stations to fill up as I travel. If you are also the forgetful type, there are apps like Daily Water Tracker and Water Reminder that send you notifications reminding you to stay hydrated.

If you plan to exercise outdoors (or even just go on a quick walk), you need to actively replenish the fluids in your body by drinking water. This keeps us from feeling lightheaded and energizes us enough to continue our daily activities.

While we are trying to make the most of the long summer days and maximize the amount of time we spend outside, it is important to take frequent breaks. Just like when you stop to scroll through TikTok in-between homework assignments, your body needs a break every now and then too! Find a shaded area to sit in or head indoors for some much-needed AC before you even start to feel tired. This lets your body cool down to a safe temperature and maintain a stable internal environment.

Try setting a time limit for yourself for how long you plan to spend outdoors before taking a break. You can also separate your day into chunks with ample amounts of rest in between your time outside.

We still have a couple more months of hot weather to enjoy, but it is only enjoyable when done safely. Hopefully you keep these key tips in mind the next time you head out the door to spend a day of fun in the sun!