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Best Ways to Keep Cool Working Outside

Staying Cool at Construction Jobsites

The only thing worse than working outside on a hot summer day is heat exhaustion. Warning signs include heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, muscle cramps, and headaches. Be aware of the warning signs for yourself and those around you! If you want unique tips on how to stay cool, keep reading to discover recommendations that you haven't heard before.

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water, start hydrating early in your day, and try to drink something every 15 to 20 minutes or so (water, ideally!). Also try to avoid things that dehydrate your body such as caffeine and alcohol. Believe it or not, drinking a hot beverage can cool you down by causing you to sweat, the body’s natural way of cooling!

2. Dress Appropriately

Although you’re likely required to wear steel toed boots, shirts with a minimum 4” sleeve, full length pants, a high visibility vest, and a hard hat, there are still ways for you to keep cool with all that gear on! Try to choose breathable materials and loose-fitting clothes in light-coloured fabrics.

3. Protect Yourself from the Sun

Wearing all those layers can add to the heat, but having your skin covered is the best way to protect against sunburn. Remember to wear sunscreen, at least 30 SPF, and reapply often! Seek out shaded areas as much as possible, and don’t forget to take a break to give yourself some time to cool down. You can even shed a few layers for awhile!

4. Eat the Right Foods

More than just staying hydrated, make sure you avoid foods that are protein-rich and salty, which can cause dehydration as well. Avoid a heavy lunch and stick to small, light snacks throughout the day to avoid your body creating additional heat while breaking down foods. Choose foods including vegetables, fruits, and nuts to naturally replenish your electrolytes. Believe it or not, eating spicy foods can cool you down too! Similar to drinking a hot beverage, eating spicy foods encourages sweating, which naturally cools your body.

5. Cooling Devices

Using a device such as a cooling vest is great for extended periods of exposure to heat. The vest has pockets around the chest fit for cold packs that will keep your body cool. Don’t forget to freeze the cold packs the night before, and if you can, put them in the freezer or a cooler mid-day to keep them cool! Not quite up to the investment? Put a damp towel in the freezer and keep it in a cooler to put on your neck for a mid-day refresher.

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