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Getting the Most out of a Hot Summer’s Day

July 6, 2007

I was speaking this morning with a friend and they told me how little they get done on, and how little they enjoy, scorching hot days like Sacramento is currently experiencing. I shared some of the things I have learned over the years that have helped me. See if they don’t help you. Also, if you have other ideas, feel free to add them to the comments.

1. Shift your Time Clock: Since the only time of the day you can really get work done in the yard without sweating to death is between 6 and 8 a.m., you might consider going to bed a little earlier and getting up earlier in the summer. Unfortunately, most people do the opposite. The sun is up later so they tend to go to bed later, which causes them (especially on the weekends) to wake up after it is time to get outdoor chores done. Also, because you are getting up during the heat of the day, your strength becomes sapped so much more quickly.

2. Keep Hydrated: Studies were done on workers in the forest industry concerning how much water was consumed versus how much work got done. They broke the group into three parts: A group that drank every hour, a group that drank every fifteen minutes, and a group that drank whenever they felt thirsty. The group that got the most work done was the one that drank water every fifteen minutes. The more hydrated you are during hot days, the more you will get done (even accounting for the time it takes to chug some H2O). The ones who could drink whenever they got thirsty only drank every 3-4 hours. And they got, by far, the least amount done.

3. Watch the temperature changes: If you keep going from very hot to very cold conditions (under 75 degrees) you will experience a lowering of your immune system’s effectiveness. The drastic change in temperature signals your immune system that a crisis is coming and you tend to lose energy. It is best to put the A/C at 77 degrees or higher when the temperature outside is over 100.

4. Get at least 15-30 minutes of sun a day: The temptation at this time of year is to stay out of the sun because of the heat. But moderate amounts of sunshine will boost your spirits. Some people in warmer climates do not get enough direct sun in the summer and actually suffer from Seasonal affective symptoms because of it. A little sun will get rid of the blues.

5. Reruns weren’t that good the first time: During the summer, there are very few good things to watch on television. Use the time you would normally spend in front of the tube to read, close your eyes, play a game or pray. Do it outside in the evening when the temperatures begin to drop. Remember to hydrate if you’re going out of doors.

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