How iVillage Women Are Beating the Heat

Tips to keep cool when it's hot outside, from iVillage members

Talking about the weather isn’t usually associated with riveting conversation. More often, it’s the topic of idle chitchat when we’re trying to be polite to strangers. But lately, the weather -- and the scorching temperatures that have hit large swaths of the country -- is all any of us can talk about.

All across the iVillage message boards, members are trading tips on how to stay cool, keep kids safe and exercise without overheating.

Even though seniors, children under 5, and people with chronic medical conditions are most at risk of heat-related illnesses during record-hot heat, anyone who doesn’t take precautions to play it safe in the sun can suffer from dehydration or heat exhaustion.

For iVillage member libelulle, who suffer from migraines, extreme heat can trigger extreme headaches. “I deal badly with heat waves,” she says. To head off pain, libelulle stays inside during the hottest hours of the day -- usually between noon and 5pm. If she does venture out, she sticks with destinations that are air-conditioned. She also keeps ice packs on hand to put on her head and neck.

According to research in the journal Neurology, the risk of a migraine increases by 7.5 percent for every nine-degree increase in temperature. Since headaches are also a symptom of dehydration and heat exhaustion, it’s important to know the difference. Stay on top of your fluid intake, and if the headache is accompanied by other symptoms like heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness or nausea, get out of the heat and seek medical attention promptly.

According to this news report, 6,000 people a year are treated in the emergency room for heat-related symptoms during exercise. Even if you’re a fitness buff, engaging in sports or excessive physical activity during a heat advisory can be downright dangerous, especially during the hottest part of the day.

On the Zumba Girls Club board, fitness instructor grace6849 is bummed out that the heat is sapping her desire to exercise. If the heat is squashing your desire to work out, try not to feel too badly about it. It’s hard to work up the motivation when just walking to your car leaves you feeling like you just ran a marathon. If you’re going bonkers being so sedentary, do as iv_miranda_d does, and hightail it to your community pool for some laps. Or, go for an easy walk or jog during the early morning or evening hours.

If you’re not an endorphin junkie, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind during a heat wave. You just want to find ways to keep your makeup from melting off and put dinner on the table without heating up the kitchen.

On the Time Out for Me boards, Sweetrose007x says she keeps her cool by getting her household chores done early in the morning. “I do laundry and let it dry in the sun, and try to keep cool from 12 noon on,” she says.

For dinner, grammyellen does as most of us do: she puts her husband to work on the grill, or makes a no-cook meal. “That way, I don't have to heat up the house worse with the stove or oven.” If you’re sick of the same old salads, check out iVillage’s scrumptious recipes for no-cook meals.

Can't get enough weather talk? Need some advice on how to beat the heat, or want to share your tips for staying cool? Tell us about them on the message boards or chime in below.

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