The dog days of summer are upon us. The summer months are among the most popular in terms of when people move, but in some parts of the country the heat can also make them the most problematic time to be outside for extended periods of time. Here are some tips to help beat the heat when it’s moving time.
• Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – The number one concern when working in the heat is staying properly hydrated. Have water easily accessible to anyone helping out with the move. Sports drinks with electrolytes can also help the body replace salts and minerals lost through perspiration. Avoid beverages with alcohol or caffeine as they will dehydrate the body more quickly. The same goes for foods high in salt.
• Eat Right – Smaller meals spaced throughout the day are ideal. Avoid foods high in protein because the body has to use more energy to digest them. Go with foods higher in fiber instead.
• Dress Appropriately – Loose-fitting, light-colored clothing is the most appropriate attire when spending longer amounts of period in the sun and heat. Wearing a hat can also help keep the sun out of your face and eyes. Use sunglasses to block ultraviolet (UV) light from your eyes even further.
• Wear Sunscreen – Sunburns aren’t fun and bad ones can even require a visit to the hospital. Make sure everyone working outside is wearing sunscreen and re-applies throughout the day.
• Pace Yourself – You shouldn’t overexert yourself when moving under any conditions, but you need to be more aware of this in excessive heat. Schedule breaks throughout the day where everyone can get out of the direct sunlight. Use the buddy system among your moving volunteers to ensure everyone has someone keeping an eye on them, looking for any early warning signs of heat exhaustion. These include excessive perspiration, muscle cramps, paleness, dizziness and headaches.
• Running cool water over your skin periodically will also help keep your body temperature down. Keeping a cold, wet rag or washcloth wrapped around your neck is a good way to reduce body temp.
• Remember if it’s too hot outside for humans to be comfortable, it’s even more so for your pets. If animals are part of your move, they should be kept in air-conditioned areas as much as possible. They’ll need access to water during and immediately after transportation. NEVER leave pets unattended in a vehicle.
The main thesis when moving in hotter temperatures is to be smart. Be aware of the potential dangers the excessive heat can bring to you, your family, your friends or anyone else helping out with your move and act accordingly. Prepare appropriately beforehand, and you’ll be relaxing in your new homes air-conditioning before you know it.