Summer comes every year, but they seem to feel a little hotter and muggier than before. That’s why it’s important to review tips for adapting to hot and humid weather before you find yourself dripping with sweat while calling for an air conditioning repair.
Try Gradual Exposure
After a midwestern winter, it’s tempting to race outside on the first hot day and try to do everything: yard work, softball, cycling, running, visiting an amusement park, etc. Resist the urge to overdo things.
Adapting to hot and humid weather is a process. Your body needs a gentle introduction to warmer weather. Start by going outside only during the cooler times of day, in the morning and evening. As you grow more accustomed to the heat, you can extend your time outdoors.
Even when you’ve gotten used to the heat, stay out of the sun, and don’t go outdoors between 10-2 p.m. to avoid the sun’s most direct, burning rays.
Dress and Eat Lightly
Dress in lightweight fabrics and eat smaller, more frequent meals. As far as clothing goes, change your closets over to your spring and summer wear, which should include loose, breathable, lightweight cotton clothing. Cotton lets your skin breathe and absorb moisture.
A common sense tip for adapting to hot and humid weather is to eat cold foods like salads, fresh or frozen fruit smoothies (but watch out for added sugar), popsicles, and cucumber sandwiches. Try not to use your stove or oven, as they will simply add more heat to your home.
When you sweat, you lose a lot of your body’s moisture. Be sure to drink plenty of water. On sticky, humid days, take cool showers to rinse off, and keep a gel ice pack wrapped in a dish towel handy to place on your neck.
Summer With or Without Air Conditioning
Try keeping the air conditioning set no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Healthy people can phase in their use of air conditioning, turning it on only on the hottest days.
For those in older homes without air conditioning, there are time-tested techniques for keeping the house cool. Keep curtain, shades and blinds drawn or down from sunup to sundown. Don’t open the windows during the day. Opening the windows will just let hot and humid air in.
If you open your windows during cooler nights, choose screens that keep insects out and provide privacy. Close windows as soon as the sun comes up.
Use fans to circulate air in the home. You can even put a bowl of ice or an ice pack in front of a fan, allowing it to blow the cool air around the ice farther into the room.
Indiana residents are familiar with hot and humid weather, but every year there’s a period of adjustment. Take it slow to start, and let your body get acclimated to the changing weather before undertaking strenuous outdoor activity or exercise in the heat.