There’s a lot of truth to the old saying that it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. If moist air is making you uncomfortable, these are some methods that will help you cool off and maybe even feel happier about the weather.
Coping With Outdoor Humidity
- Understand the science. Humidity refers to the level of water vapor in the air. On a practical level, it interferes with your body’s ability to cool off because sweat sits on your skin instead of evaporating. High heat and humidity pack a double whammy.
- Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is essential to maintaining a safe body temperature. Drink plenty of water. If you engage in strenuous activities, you may want to consider sport drinks as well to replace salt and other minerals.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine. Some common substances act as diuretics and will make you more prone to dehydration. Take it easy with coffee and margaritas on hot, humid days.
- Adjust your exercise routine. Even though it’s often cooler in the early morning, that’s when humidity levels are usually higher. On the muggiest days, consider indoor activities or reduce the duration and intensity of your workout.
- Dress appropriately. Wearing loose fitting and light colored clothing will help you stay fresh. Opt for breathable materials like linen and cotton.
- Acclimate gradually. Give your body time to adjust. Gradually spend more time outdoors to build up your tolerance levels.
Coping With Indoor Humidity
- Keep your humidifier clean. Some studies claim that more than half of US homes have unhealthy levels of humidity. Indoor humidifiers can be good for your skin and sinuses, but keep them clean to avoid increasing mold counts.
- Move plants outdoors. Let your indoor plants camp outside for the summer. Vegetation creates a lot of atmospheric moisture.
- Use fans. Install a bathroom exhaust fan and run it for about a half hour after you shower to help dry the air. Throughout your home, fans will help circulate air. They also reduce your air conditioning bills and have less negative impact on the environment.
- Check on your neighbors. Seniors and people with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to heat stroke or exhaustion. Keep an eye out for them during severe weather. Learn first aid techniques and how to contact local service agencies if they need assistance.
- Treat seasonal allergies. High heat and humidity may make allergy symptoms worse. If you’ve got a runny nose and itchy eyes, talk with your doctor. You may need to temporarily adjust your medications or spend less time outdoors.
- Create summer rituals. If you loved summer vacation when you were a kid, create new reasons to love the hotter months and take your mind off the humidity. Think about fresh berries and backyard barbecues. Gather your family for a weekend at the beach together.
- Look forward to autumn. In many regions, humidity will automatically decrease after the summer months pass. Remember that fall will arrive within a few months. Celebrate the time off from shoveling snow or having to put a coat on every time you go outdoors.
- Become grateful for humidity. As much as people complain about humidity, keep in mind that it does some very good things for the planet. In fact, it helps create the conditions to sustain life on earth. Some species, like orchids, even need humidity levels as high as 70 percent to thrive.
You can beat humidity or just learn to function better whatever the weather forecast may be. Stay hydrated along with taking other sensible precautions inside and outside your home to protect your health and feel more at ease.