Some people find Arizona’s summer temperatures to be shocking, especially newcomers who have relocated from northern climes. Occasionally, when the humidity is very low, it may not seem as hot as it really is, but the heat can be a danger whether one is aware of it or not. Dehydration and heat stroke occur slowly and the warning signs can easily be ignored.
The best way to deal with an Arizona summer is to be vigilantly proactive. Here are a few ideas for keeping cool this summer.
Stay hydrated. Often, one can be dehydrated without feeling thirsty. It’s important to have a steady intake of fluids, whether thirsty or not. Water is the best beverage to stay hydrated. Alcoholic beverages, which can increase dehydration, are the worst. Caffeinated beverages, like soda or energy drinks, are not as bad as once thought, as long as they don’t contain too much sugar. The recommended fluid intake is 13 cups per day for men, and 9 cups for women. An Arizona summer requires even more, so keep drinking—and make it water, if possible.
Stay indoors during the day. Outdoor activities or exercise should be scheduled for early in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are a little cooler. The hottest part of the day is between 3 and 5 p.m., so if you’re planning on outdoor activities after work, wait until after dark.
Get in the pool. Getting in the water can immediately cool your body down. Make sure to put on sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside and bring plenty of beverages with you to the pool. Since you’re fortunate enough to live at Encantada, you have a pool waiting for you.
Wear the right clothes. Wear clothing that is lightweight, loose-fitting, made of cotton, and—as counterintuitive as it seems—that covers as much of your skin as possible. Wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, a hat, and sunglasses with 100% UV protection to keep your eyes safe.
Know the symptoms of overheating. Learn to recognize the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, how you can help, and when medical help is required.
Arizona is a beautiful place to live all year long. One just needs to occasionally remind oneself that dealing with a little heat for a few months is much easier than shoveling snow.