Keeping cool is the key to enjoying those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes that cover more of your body, and protect your skin from the sun’s rays, to help keep cool in low humidity heat.
- Choose loosely-woven natural fabrics (cotton, silk, linen), rather than polyester, rayon, or other artificial fibers which don’t “breathe”.
- Wear light colored clothing to help reflect heat. Darker colors absorb the sun’s heat and stay warmer longer.
- Articles of clothing designed to wick moisture from the body and dry quickly may be helpful in high humidity environments.
- Sit in the shade and avoid strenuous activity during peak sunlight hours (10 am - 3 pm).
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine. A hydrated body is better able to regulate temperature. Try drinking at least 8 ounces of water every hour to stay hydrated in the heat.
- Run cold water over your wrists for 10 seconds on each hand to help cool down.
- Fill an inexpensive spray bottle with water and use it to mist yourself. In a breeze, water on the skin evaporates and helps to cool the body in a similar manner to perspiration.
- Wrap a wet handkerchief, towel, or cloth around the back of the neck.
- Take a cool bath or jump in the pool and go swimming.
- Drink iced beverages. Frozen beverages, such as “slurpees”, or popsicles can help provide temporary relief.
- Freeze bottles of water and sip on the water as it melts throughout the day.
- Hold ice cubes, ice packs, or anything frozen against the inside of the wrists, back of the neck, or top of the head to provide quick relief.
- Snack on frozen bite-sized pieces of fruit, such as pineapple chunks, banana slices, blueberries, or grapes.
Strategies for Keeping Cool with MS in the Summer Heat