Artificial Cool Down Tips
Dr. John Woods 08.08.17
Summer is here, and in the south known for its toasty temperatures and high humidity it does not take long to stretch overdoing the heat index.
This time of year, outdoors people either having to work in this environment or trying to enjoy some recreation before the fall season begins to kick in need to stay aware of the impacts of heat on the body. If you ever do get a heat stroke, then you will be more subject to them in the future.
I am mindful now, too, that hunters are beginning to think deer camp work, food plot preparation, mowing, weed eating, and general clean up. This is a classic time of year to overdo the heat. Most of us have been conditioned to work inside all summer under the gentile blow of an AC unit. Then when prolonged exposure to the sun and heat comes about, we are easy targets for heat issues. But there are easy ways to ward off the effects of too much heat.
First and foremost, stay hydrated. Deer hunter “farmers” working on hunting lands need to keep an iced cooler of water or hydration drinks on hand all day. Save the beers until the end of the day. Just like the boys at fall football practice, highway workers or roofers if you work outside, a water break should be taken every thirty minutes.
Shade your head. That means a wide brim hat that has cooling features. Straw hats are great for this especially if you wet them down periodically. These hats shade both your head and neck. Baseball caps do not offer this full coverage.
And why do you think cowboys always wore a bandana around their necks? To look good? Well, yes, but that square yard or so of plain cotton fabric adds skin coverage from the rays of the sun, but when sweated or wetted, can add an extra cooling impact especially if there is a breeze. There are also commercial neck wraps that can be kept in the freezer or when soaked down, the jelly material in the wrap stays cool for a long time. Wrap this around your neck to soak down the heat factor as well.
Wear sunglasses, use sunscreen, lightweight garments, and light shoes, but ones that cover the feet. This is common sense stuff, but simple practices to avoid too much heat impact.