We live in one of the hottest cities in America and let me tell you working outdoors in the summer is no joke. I am outdoors from 8-5 performing physically active labor. The sun can drain you in an instant. Without proper preparation and actions throughout the day you risk heat exhaustion. We warn and advise our employees with suggestions to prevent them from having an energy crash during the day. Too often we have witnessed someone fall out when they didn’t take our warnings seriously. So what can you do to make it through a hot day outdoors? Here are our suggestions to beat the heat when you work outdoors in the Summer.
Pre-hydrate the night before and the morning of work. It is important to be hydrated before you even start. I’m not referring to beer, caffeine or sugary drinks. You need to drink plenty of water.
Get a good night’s sleep the night before. You will need to have energy stored up because the heat and sun will deplete your energy faster than normal conditions will.
Limit caffeine. It is a diuretic which increases water loss and dehydrates you. Drink water and electrolyte drinks such as PowerAde and Gatorade. I prefer Mio Electrolyte drops added to my water. Although caffeine normally provides us with energy it doesn’t blend well with long periods in the heat. Instead try eating an apple. Apples have an amazing natural energy booster.
If you are thirsty it is too late. You are already dehydrated. Try to drink a few ounces every 15-20 minutes. Keep a water bottle on you or nearby for easy fill ups.
Take frequent breaks for snacks and meals. This keeps your blood sugar regulated and provides you with energy. It only takes a minute to eat a quick snack. Fruits and leafy greens help replenish electrolytes. Good food choices when you are outdoors for the day include; melons, celery, cucumber, salads, pickles, protein bars, peanut butter/peanut butter crackers, apples and oranges. Avoid greasy and sugary foods. They will not be your friend in these elements.
Wear lightweight breathable clothing. Cotton and light colors are best. Hats are good when they are lightweight or mesh that allows heat to escape. I personally feel too warm with a hat on my head in the heat of Summer. Cool hats or towels like these work well.
Be sure to wear a good sunscreen and protect your skin.
If you have any heat survival tips to share please post them below in the comments. Any advice is appreciated.