Summer is here and we're all about getting outdoors and having fun! If you're a nature enthusiast who happens to like the warm season, you see every hot day as a new opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities - from hiking and road-tripping to beach volleyball and kayaking.
Even the indoorsy types like to relax by the pool or at the beach after long hours at the office. But what if you work outdoors? Or, how do you survive when you have a garden or a lawn to tend to during the extreme heat?
Of course, there's no reason gardening and lawn care can't be every bit as fun as anything else we love to do in the great outdoors. Plus, you get your daily dose of Vitamin D! Remember that the research shows that there are many health benefits associated with getting plenty of sunlight. It boosts our body's supply of Vitamin D, which supercharges our immune system.
However, too much sun can get a tad uncomfortable. If we overdo it, it can be harmful to our health. So, what can you do to make your life a bit easier while spending lots of time working outdoors during the dog days of summer?
The first key to help yourself in the hot sun is to wear plenty of sunscreen. If you've ever been to the beach and forgotten to do this, you know how important it is when the sun is out and shining. Racking up long hours in the garden means the sun will be beating down on you for quite some time, meaning you'll want to protect your skin with sunscreen. If not, you may be regretting it the next day - you'll be seeing some red itchiness and aloe in your future for sure!
Ultimately you'll want to limit how long you stay in the sun overall and make sure you avoid being out during the hottest parts of the day. If you're out for an extended period of time, remember to reapply your lotion every two hours. You should also make sure you're applying enough. According to Harvard Medical School, you'll want to apply about a shot glass's worth to your body and a teaspoon to your face.
But lotion isn't the only key to being smart while working outdoors. You'll also want to double down on your refreshments.
Drink plenty of water every day whether you're working outside or not. Exposing yourself to the sun and heat makes it extra important to do so! Have plenty of water on hand, and make sure you're close to somewhere you can get more if you need to.
How much should you drink? The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration advocates that those working outside in heat "should drink at least one cup (8 ounces) of water every 20 minutes while working in the heat." They also recommend drinking water before you become thirsty, so it's best to prepare your body by starting to drink water before you even leave the house.
Don't mess around with any kind of sugary drinks; nothing hydrates you as well as water. Drinks like soda or other carbonated beverages can often dehydrate you. Definitely stay away from any kind of alcohol as this will have the same effect.
There's plenty of summer workwear you can put on to make the sun easier to deal with. Sunglasses, for one. Ophthalmologists highly recommend wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the dangers of the sun. They protect your retinas and help prevent the light-sensitive nerve tissue in your eye from degenerating as you age. Sunglasses also play a big role in protecting your eye's photoreceptors from ultraviolet damage, which plays an important role in the loss of vision.
Do you have summer outdoor clothing ready to put on when working outdoors in the heat? Sun-protective clothing is a great choice because it's light, breathable and has a UPF factor. There are plenty of accessories and clothes you can wear to stay cool and protected while you work.
Sturdy convertible pants or work pants can both keep your legs safe from weeds, thorns, and dirt while maintaining maximum coolness and comfortability. If you're looking for women's hiking pants that are light and flexible, Splash are easy to roll up. Wearing light-colored, breathable, long sleeve shirts will also help you stay relaxed and safe while protecting your skin from the sun and wicking the sweat.
Of course, don't forget what might be the most important piece of your summer workwear ensemble: a sun hat that works with your sunscreen to keep your face and head from getting burnt. With the right summer work clothing, you can optimize your time outdoors and protect yourself from the elements and nature, feeling comfortable while you do it.
Even if you follow all the tips listed above, it still helps to get out of the sun every once in a while. If you're close to your house, head inside for water in short intervals. If you're working somewhere that isn't close to the indoors, find a tree with lots of shade to sit in for a few minutes and freshen up your head, neck, and face frequently.
Too much sun exposure can be dangerous to your health for many reasons, so you don't want to overdo it. Taking a break every few minutes allows you to stay cool and away from direct sunlight for a spell.
Also, try to work with a buddy if you can. In the event you do come down with some sort of illness due to the heat, you'll want to have someone alongside you to assist. Besides, working outdoors is more fun with a partner anyway.
So, to recap, when you're working outside this summer, remember to:
It's important to follow all of these tips together - only doing one won't do! By following this advice, you give yourself the best chance to have the most enjoyable time possible while working outside.