5 Tips to Beat the Texas Heat
Native Texans hear this complaint from out-of-towners often: “It is sooo hot here!” (To which the complainer will typically receive an eye roll.)
Yes, it’s hot in the Hill Country!
In the summer, temperatures can reach 100 degrees and higher for days on end. Add humidity to the equation and the air can feel thick and suffocating.
But never fear! Texans who know how to handle the heat have shared their tips for when temperatures soar.
1. Take a dip
The Highland Lakes is cool year-round with swimming holes and refreshing lakes in every direction. Swimming, boat rides, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more are activities you can enjoy in the high heat.
Visit one of the five Highland Lakes for a sweet reprieve:
2. Exercising outdoors? Try this quick fix
Exercise responsibly in the summer. Don’t go out during the hottest hours of the days (save it for the morning or after sunset), and refrain from strenuous activity to avoid heat stroke.
If you must go out during the hottest hours, try this trick revered by runners. Soak a bandana in water and put it in the freezer overnight. Wrap the bandana around your neck before leaving the house. As your body temperature rises, the frozen bandana will melt.
This trick is also useful when you’re going to outdoor events such as LakeFest in Marble Falls. Keep the bandana in your cooler and pull it out when you need a quick cool-down.
3. Avoid sunburn like the plague
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen — it’s not just your mom’s nagging advice. Wear SPF 30 or higher and reapply frequently. It will keep your skin cool and prevent sunburn. Also, stand in the shade. Stay out of full and direct sunlight; it feels much cooler and reduces the risk for sunburn. Consider donning a large sunhat to keep the heat off your face, neck, and shoulders.
3. Hydration is key
Drink water, and then drink some more. Staying hydrated is key to beating the high heat. Always remember to drink before you feel thirsty. Carry a water bottle around and refill it often.
Also, lay off the booze. Don’t overindulge in alcohol. It is extremely dehydrating. It contains a load of sugar, causes you to lose fluids more quickly, and impairs the body’s ability to regulate its own temperature. Stick to water when you’re in high heat.
5. Know what to do in the event of heat exhaustion and heat stroke
First, know how to recognize the symptoms: throbbing headache, confusion, dizziness/light-headedness, muscle weakness or cramps, rapid heartbeat, feeling faint or actually fainting. These are all symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke.
Immediately seek medical attention for any of these signs. Heat stroke can lead to vital organ damage and even death. In the meantime, cool down the body as much as possible. Get into a shady area or air conditioning. Wet the skin, or even better, immerse the body in cold water. Apply ice packs to the heat centers of the body: armpits, neck, groin, and back.
Follow these tips for a fun Hill Country summer. Have additional tips? Leave them in the comments below.
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