Lifestyle

8 Ways to Beat the Heat in the Hill Country

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The Texas Hill Country has hundreds, maybe thousands, of great places to explore and visit from Enchanted Rock, to Lake Travis, to great water parks, to the Alamo — there is no shortage of things to do. Many of these great places are outdoors and require physical activity such as hiking, skiing, and running around water parks trying to keep up with the kiddos. While enjoying the great outdoors and all the activities, it is imperative to keep these eight heat safety tips in mind:

1. Timing is everything.

enchanted rock

Photo: Enchanted Rock, Courtesy of KSAT.com

It’s no secret the Texas sun can be blistering hot, especially in mid to late summer. While planning your activities like climbing Enchanted Rock or hiking the trails of Lost Maples, it is important to plan your vigorous activities in the early morning hours (before 10 a.m.) and in the late evening hours (after 6 p.m.)  Save the middle of the day when the sun is high and hot for activities that are less strenuous or indoors.

2. Hydrate much and hydrate often.

sanmarcos

Photo:  San Marcos River, courtesy of twitter.com

Water is essential to the healthy function of our bodies, and notice the word is water.  Drinking plenty of water keeps our bodies hydrated and cooled down. While enjoying the great outdoors, keep plenty of water on hand, not only for you but for your four- legged friends as well. Avoid drinks with caffeine, sugar, and alcohol.  Sugar can slow down the absorption of water in the body.  Alcohol and heat can be a dangerous mix. Although a nice cold beer floating down the river or sitting in the Texas sun sounds like a great thing to have, alcohol promotes dehydration and interferes with the body’s ability to regulate its own temperature.  Avoid really cold drinks as well, although they may feel good, really cold drinks can cause stomach cramping.

3. Loosen up.

batman2
Photo:  www.fiestatexas.com

While enjoying your favorite summer activities, dress in loose fitted, light colored, and lightweight clothing. Light colors reflect the sunlight and heat away from your body, and lightweight clothing retains less heat.  Wearing a lightweight, light colored t-shirt not only helps prevent sunburn, but decreases the odds of heat exhaustion as well.

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