Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

Can’t Go Naked? Some Advice to Stay Cool and Comfortable

on July 20, 2011

Yep- it is still hot and humid.  You might want to curb an intense outdoor workout a bit for the next few days, but even a light stroll after dinner can make you awfully uncomfortable if you aren’t prepared.  Here are a few tips to help keep you comfortable if you are biking, mowing, or just moving around!

Rule #1: NO COTTON!! It soaks up moisture and sits on your skin like a wet rag, not allowing sweat to evaporate and cool you off. Wear high-tech (synthetic) fabrics that wick away sweat. There are dozens of name brands including CoolMax, PowerDry, DryCore and Dri-Fit.  They are well worth the investment.  Get rid of those cotton t-shirts and join this century!
One warning: Synthetics can get a bit smelly so rinse them right away and hang to dry instead of throwing them into the hamper wet with sweat. Launder in warm water with detergent and 1/4 cup of Borax.  There are also detergents made specifically to clean and de-stink synthetic sports gear but I find Borax works just as well and is quite a bit cheaper.

Rule #2: Wear light-colored clothes
Lighter clothes reflect rather than absorb the sun’s rays.

Rule #3: Avoid the chafe
Test your clothing on a short walk/run/hike before going long. If the seams chafe or ride up, you’re going to be awfully uncomfortable. Look for flat-constructed seams or fewer seams to avoid the issue. 

Rule #4: Keep your Feet Cool!
Do not wear all-cotton socks. Sweat-wicking blends will keep your feet cooler and prevent blisters.

Rule #5: Sunglasses are not created equal.
 Invest in a good pair of sunglasses, not the $2 pair at the gas station. Better glasses protect against serious, long-term eye damage due to exposure to UVA and UVB rays. Cheap glasses tend to fog up; polarized glasses offer much better contrast. Get glasses labeled as 100 percent UVA/UVB protective.

Rule #6: Don’t forget the Sun Block! Sunscreen protects your skin from painful burns, premature aging, and the risk of skin cancer. Avoid oil-based sunscreens because they impede sweating, and sweat evaporates and keeps you cool. An SPF of 45 is sufficient and reapply every few hours. 

In addition:

Shower right after your workout and put on a clean, dry shirt.  Don’t let sweat dry on your skin as it is a breeding ground for bacteria which can clog pores and cause all sorts of skin issues so wash it off as soon as  you can. If you have cats, they love the salt and will lick you clean if you don’t shower!  ( they like to do this at about 3am, cat owners know what I mean)

 Sweating can also dry out your skin so apply a moisturizer after showering. 

Hot weather is not an excuse to lay around and eat chips, you just need a bit of preparation.  Enjoy it now- in a few months I will  probably be writing about shoveling. 

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