Heat waves have the potential to affect our health. Awareness and taking the necessary steps to maintain balance are crucial to our well-being.
Rising temperatures are being felt across the world making it more difficult to enjoy activities outdoors. Getting in or out of the car or walking the dog can get you to sweat in no time; and not to mention activities we love such as going to the beach, working-out outdoors or being in the garden. How can we participate in these activities and at the same time stay cool and hydrated? Below are 5 basic tips to consider.
1) Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Not surprise water tops the list, given its myriad of benefits such as maintaining electrolyte balance and regulating body temperature. How much water to drink? Depends on your specific needs, age, size, activity and of course local temperature! General daily recommendation is for healthy adults to drink 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women. However, raising temperatures will require us to drink more water, particularly during the summer. When thirsty, avoid reaching for cold or ice water, even if the desire is strong. Trust me, I have been there! Doing so will create the opposite effect. Cold water will increase your body’s core temperature to warm up the water, taking you longer to cool down! Choose room temperature water instead.
2) Protect from sunlight. Although UV rays aren’t stronger during raising temperatures, exposure to direct sunlight will make you feel hotter and can increase the risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Symptoms to watch for include dizziness, muscle cramping, headache, weakness, excessive sweating and more serious symptoms of confusion, heart raising or coma. Seek medical help immediately if you suspect heatstroke. Wear a hat that keeps your head cool or use an umbrella for shade. If your head starts to feel overheated, go inside to rest and put a cool compress over the forehead.
3) Replenish loss fluids from sweat with demulcent herbs. Some of my favorites to use after working out or being in the garden are:
a. Aloe Gel (Aloe Vera) juice blended in smoothies or juice. 2 ounce per serving. It is sweet, bitter and cool in energy. It is restoring, moistening, mildly laxative and anti-inflammatory. Do not use if pregnant or lactating.
b. Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) cool tea. Steep 8 tsp dry herb to 8 oz cool water, in the fridge for at least 45 minutes, strain and drink. It is nutritive and cool in energy. Considered a Yin tonic, moistening, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
c. American Ginseng root (Panax quinquefolius) capsules. 1 gram per dose. It is sweet, slightly bitter, and cool in energy. A tonic for the entire body, particularly the adrenals, and is considered an “adaptogen”.
4) Avoid sweating in excess and be gentle when transitioning to the AC. Sweating is a normal process that help us stay cool, but sweating in excess can deplete valuable fluids and aggravate other symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue and dryness. Normal sweating is beneficial. It is best not to wipe it dry immediately or change to dry clothes unless you are going to a cool environment or stay indoors. And be gentle when transitioning from hot to cold or vice versa. Ie. coming from 100 F to entering a retail store with air conditioning. Your body needs time to adapt to changing temperatures. Stand at the door for a little to receive the cool breeze before you go in and do the same on your way out to get exposure to the hot breeze. Drastic changes in temperature aggravate allergies and create skin conditions.
5) Eat plenty of moistening fruits, preferably those in local season: peach, pear, mulberry, papaya, watermelon, cucumber, mango, apples, avocados and banana are the best at keeping you hydrated and help your body adapt quicker to increasing temperatures.
Thank you for reading our blog! This list is by no means exhaustive and we hope it serves to make you more comfortable this season. Do you have other tips that would like to share with our audience?
If you sweat profusely for no reason, experience night sweats, heat in the afternoon, or heat on the face and sole of the palms and feet. These symptoms may be related to raising temperatures and they may point to an imbalance that needs attention. Working with a Clinical Herbalist can help address these and other symptoms.
At Holistic Harmony we work with clients to uncover the root cause of their imbalance and provide herbal recommendations suited to the individual's specific needs. We offer free 15 minutes consultations to discuss your concerns and see if we are the right fit for you.
Phone: 239-688-4585 (Call/Text)