When the summer heat hits, it can be tough to stay cool – especially if you work outdoors. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to beat the heat and keep your cool, including using a Cool Links® Cooling Towel throughout the day.
In this post, we'll share some tips for staying cool when working in the summer heat.
Why Do We Get Hot?
We all know the feeling of getting too hot – our skin feels warm to the touch, we start to sweat, and our heart rate increases. But why does this happen?
Our bodies are designed to keep us at a constant temperature, which is why we have mechanisms like sweating to help us cool down. When it's hot outside, our bodies have to work harder to maintain that internal temperature. As a result, we can get a bit too hot.
Of course, there are other factors that can contribute to feeling hot, including physical activity and wearing clothing that doesn't breathe well.
How Does Your Body Cool Itself Down?
Sweating is one of the ways our bodies cool themselves down. When we sweat, the evaporation of the liquid on our skin helps to lower our body temperature.
Another way our bodies cool themselves is by vasodilation, which is when blood vessels expand to allow blood to flow closer to the surface of the skin. This helps to cool down the blood, which in turn helps to cool down the body.
What Increases Your Chances of Overheating?
There are a few things that can increase your chances of overheating, including:
- Physical activity: When you're physically active, your body temperature rises and you start to sweat.
- Hot weather: Of course, hot weather is going to make it harder for your body to stay cool.
- High humidity: Humid air doesn't evaporate sweat as quickly, which makes it harder for your body to cool down.
- Direct sun exposure: Being in direct sunlight can also make it harder for your body to stay cool.
Which Jobs Get the Most Sun Exposure?
There are a few jobs that tend to have a lot of sun exposure, including:
Spending time out in the hot sun working on construction projects can quickly leave you overheated and tired. If you're a construction worker, proper hydration and use of cooling devices like Cool Links® Cooling Towels can make all the difference.
Many workers in the agriculture industry spend the majority of their days out in the sun. Irrigating crops, harvesting, and maintaining your grounds are all tasks that put you in the sun for hours at a time.
For hobby gardeners and professionals alike, it's all too easy to end up with a sunburn and a case of major dehydration if you aren't careful.
If you garden for work or for fun, take the time to pack a large bottle of water and a Cool Links® towel putting your green thumb to good use.
Landscaping is hard work, and the folks who do it for a living spend hours per day out in the hot sun. If landscaping is how you earn a living, hydration, sun protection, and taking steps to periodically cool off are essential.
Whether you're lifeguarding at a local pool or watching over the waves at the beach, you're spending plenty of time in the hot sun. All that heat can make you feel exhausted, and you need your strength to save lives in emergencies.
Painting in residential and commercial areas often means standing out in the sun — sometimes at great heights. If you're up on a slate roof adding a new coat of paint to some gutters or doing a similar job, protecting yourself from the heat is an absolute must.
Roofing is a hot job, and there's often no way to avoid at least somesun and heat exposure while you work. However, you can still take steps to cool yourself off, such as wearing protective clothing and using a Cool Links® towel throughout the workday.
How Do You Stay Cool When Working Outside?
Now that we know why we get hot and which workers get the most sun while on the job, let's look at some ways to stay cool when working in the summer heat.
One of the most important ways you can stay cool when working outside is to drink plenty of fluids. Water is always a wise choice, but you might also want to consider an electrolyte-rich sports drink as well to help replenish any minerals you lose through sweating.
Take a Break in the Shade
If possible, take a break from the heat every now and then by stepping into the shade. This will give your body a chance to cool down and will help you avoid getting overheated.
When you need to rest and recover from the sun, try to find a shady spot that's out of direct sunlight. If there's no natural shade available, you can always create your own by setting up an umbrella or tarp.
Wear the Right Clothing
When working in the heat, it's important to wear clothing that will help you stay cool. Natural fabrics like cotton are a good choice, as they breathe well and won't make you sweat as much.
You might also want to consider wearing loose-fitting clothing that covers your skin. This will help protect you from the sun's harmful UV rays and will also keep you cooler than if you were wearing shorts and a tank top.
Don't Forget the Sunscreen!
In addition to wearing the right clothing, it's also important to apply sunscreen before spending any time outdoors. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and be sure to reapply it every few hours to keep your skin protected.
Use a Cool Links® Cooling Towel
A cooling towel can be a lifesaver when you're working in the heat — but not all cooling towels are created equal. Cool Links® are your go-to when you need quick relief from the heat while you work, and they'll keep you cooler for longer than traditional cooling towels!
When you need some respite from the hot sun, just activate your Cool Links® Cooling Towel using the reusable frozen cubes or cold water. The towel's absorbent fabric keeps your neck from getting uncomfortable, and there's a magnetic tab on each towel for a secure fit.
Snack on Hydrating Foods
In addition to drinking plenty of fluids, you should also make sure you're eating foods that will help you stay hydrated. Fruits and vegetables with high water content, like watermelon and cucumber, are always smart choices,
You can also try snacking on yogurt, which contains electrolytes that can help you stay hydrated. Plus, if you're looking for a hydrating drink that's not water or sports drinks, try coconut water — it's packed with electrolytes and is an excellent way to stay hydrated while working in the heat.
Take a Cool Shower After Work
Once you've clocked out for the day, take a cool shower to help lower your body temperature. This will also help wash away any sweat and dirt you accumulated during the workday.
Cold showers have a variety of benefits for your skin, hair, and muscles. Here are just a few:
- They can help improve circulation.
- They can relieve muscle soreness.
- They can help you recover from a workout more quickly.
- They can boost your mood.
- They can help you fall asleep more easily.
- They can help clear your sinuses.
Taking a cold shower can be uncomfortable at first, but it's definitely worth the plunge for all of those benefits!
Swap Your Morning Coffee for Iced Tea
If you typically drink coffee to wake up in the morning, try swapping it out for a cup of iced tea instead. Iced tea will help you stay hydrated, and it contains less caffeine than coffee, so you won't have to worry about dehydrating yourself before clocking in and heading into the heat.
Plus, iced tea comes in a variety of delicious flavors, so you can still enjoy your morning beverage without the jitters.
Make sure to steep your tea for the recommended amount of time to get the most flavor, and add some fresh fruit or herbs for a healthy and refreshing treat.
Wear Breathable Shoes
When working in the heat, it's important to wear shoes that won't make your feet sweat. Breathable fabrics like mesh or canvas are good choices, as they'll allow your feet to breathe and won't trap in heat.
You should also avoid wearing shoes that are too tight, as they can constrict your feet and make them more likely to sweat. If possible, go for shoes with a little bit of extra room to allow your feet to expand in the heat.
Of course, always make sure you're wearing socks on the job to protect yourself and your coworkers from a whiff of sweaty, smelly feet!
Work in the Morning and Evening (When You Can)
If you have the flexibility to choose when you work, try to schedule your shift for either the morning or evening hours. The temperature is typically cooler during these times, so you'll be more comfortable working in the heat.
Of course, this isn't always possible, but it's worth considering if you have the option to avoid the hottest hours of the day.
Cool Off With Cool Links®
If you spend most days working hard out in the hot sun, we're here to help you cool off. Check out our collection of stylish wearable Cool Links® cooling towels, which come in a wide array of colors and patterns. There's something for everybody, and you don't have to pick just one!
Whether you’re working hard or hardly working, Cool Links® can help you make the most of any hot summer’s day.
Dehydrated? These 7 Foods Will Satisfy Your Thirst and Hunger | Cleveland Clinic
5 Challenges of Hybrid Work — and How to Overcome Them | Harvard Business Review