Staying Safe This Summer

My van needs a wash. Bad. But the other day, it was hot. So hot that I didn’t want to do anything, much less spend two hours scrubbing down a car. Fortunately, I had options.

During the summer months it gets pretty hot here in Arizona, and that means that we need to take the proper steps to stay cool. When we’re outside, it means making sure that we’re always well hydrated, plus using our energy in a productive way. That’s why I decided to think smart when it came time to give my van a bath, but the same things can work for you as well.

  • Do whatever you can early or late. In the case of the van, I got up really early to do the wash — around 5:45am or so. Now granted, that’s pretty early to get up and start scrubbing down a vehicle, but it was also substantially cooler. At that point in the morning, I was sweating from the work, but not the heat. The same thing applies to exercise or other outdoor activities. Try to plan it for a time of the day when it will be cooler, as opposed to high noon in the open sun.
  • Water, Water, Water. I never leave the house without a bottle (or two) of water. Soda won’t cut it and drinking alcohol has a bad effect, so water is convenient and easy to carry. I don’t know about you, but if I go out for what I think will be a 30-minute jaunt to the store, it usually turns into an hour of running other errands that I didn’t even know I had. Having water on hand saves me from buying it while I’m out, which also saves me another step. If you think you have enough water, you probably don’t — have some more.
  • Time Out. If you start feeling the heat, take a time out and get some rest. When I was washing the van, there was a moment when I realized that the impending heat was starting to get to me, so I sat down for a bit. Since it got even hotter after my rest, I decided to do some of the finishing touches after it cooled down later that night, since I was mostly done anyways.
  • Don’t Forget the Sunscreen. There’s our skin to think about, too. Sunscreen should be a year-round thing, but most of us only think about it during the summer months. For me, I find a good sunscreen helps my skin dramatically, and for my wife and son (both quite pale themselves), even more so.

What about you? Do you have any tips for Arizona summers? Let me know in the comments below.

Feature Image via Brian Snelson on Flickr

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