Summertime weather means hot temperatures and high humidity. It’s time to be smart, stay cool, and hydrated. You can use any of these ideas to make this summer more bearable.

Dehydration happens when your body loses more fluids than what it is taking in. This could be caused by sweating or sickness, but it can be dangerous to your body.

Since your body cools itself by sweating, you can understand how important staying hydrated is. Staying hydrated is important no matter what time of year it is; however, it’s even more important during warmer weather.

You may not even realize you’re getting dehydrated, especially if you depend upon your sense of thirst to guide you. The fact is you can start becoming dehydrated without feeling thirsty.

Rather than waiting until you sense thirst, you’ll want to drink plenty of water before, during, and after summertime activities or when the temperatures soar.

To stay hydrated you’ll want to keep a bottle or glass of water handy. If you’re physically active, you’ll want to drink approximately ten ounces of water every half hour or so. Having the water readily available means you’ll be less likely to forget to drink it. You can add lemon or lime juice to your water to make it more palatable.

Eat fresh fruits and cold snacks to help keep your body cooler. Try putting grapes in the freezer and enjoying them when the weather becomes warm. Strawberries, peaches, oranges, and watermelon are also good choices to refrigerate and keep handy when you know you’ll be outside.

There are a number of ways you can stay cooler:

  • Plan activities when it’s cool outside. The hottest part of the day is normally between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so you may want to avoid going outside during those hours. If you must be outside, try to find shady areas for your activities or play in water; don’t forget to drink plenty of water to replace the fluids you’ll lose in the hotter temperatures.
  • Wear lightweight cotton fabrics. Loosely fitting clothing that is light colored will also help you stay cooler. Darker colors will soak up the sunlight and make you hotter, so you may want to avoid them if you can.
  • Keep your feet cooler by wearing footwear that will allow them to breathe and won’t trap sweat. Don’t give up protection and support when needed, however. Even though you can wear sandals with many summer outfits, they aren’t appropriate when playing sports.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you become weak, dizzy, or thirsty, it’s time to take a water break. Get out of the direct sunlight and find some shade. Knowing how to stay cool and hydrated means you can keep active no matter the temperatures outside.