I originally published this blog in 2015 when I thought we were having a hot summer. But this past July set a new global heat record worldwide so I think it’s time to take another look at the dangers of high temps and how to protect yourself and your voice.
Back in 2015 I had heard from a reporter who had gotten sick covering a story in Texas. The more I learned the more I realized this person had suffered heat exhaustion, which is a very dangerous condition. This happens every summer to reporters and can happen to any of us. It’s usually avoidable by taking a few steps to take care during the summer months.
Summer can also be hard on your voice with summer colds and allergies. If you want to stay healthy and sound great this summer, try these ten tips. I’ve provided links to some of my other blog posts if you want to read more, but here’s a list for a quick reminder:
- Keep your vocal tract moist by drinking half your body weight in ounces of nonalcoholic fluid a day (for more on fluid intake check out this post). During the heat carry a thermos instead of just a water bottle so that you can drink cold water. You can also freeze water bottles and drink them as they melt in the heat (just be sure and leave room in the bottle for the liquid to freeze without damaging the bottle).
- Eat foods that help keep you hydrated. For example, a slice of watermelon contains 10 ounces of water. A peach or a cup of strawberries has 5 ounces. Other foods high in water are cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, and raw squash. Soups, tea, and coffee are also good for hydration.
- If you have allergies or get a summer cold, limit throat clearing and coughing. Did you read this post on the dangers of coughing? And limit your use of antihistamines because they are diuretics.
- To help avoid Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke, check out these cooling bandanas that really help you stay cool. I’ve tried this one, http://www.mycoolingstore.com/chill-its-temp-control-cooling-bandana.html, and it works well without getting your clothes damp.
- Keep up an exercise program, but if you’re exercising outside and it’s hot, do it early in the morning or late in the evening. Why exercise? It helps develop good breathing, but it does much more. Check this out.
- Use SPF 30 or higher sun block every day and reapply it every few hours! And if you’re outside much of the day, you can purchase clothes that are SPF treated, or you can actually make your clothes sun proof with Rit Sun Guard. It’s a washing powder that stays in through 20 washes and blocks more than 96% of harmful rays. You can also find SPF umbrellas to use.
- Ramp up your protein intake for better overall health and great vocal energy. This blog post explains why and how.
- Get at least seven hours of sleep each night for better health and vocal energy. That’s the minimum that doctors recommend. Go for more when you can. And remember that computers and tablets emit blue light that mimics sunlight and can keep you awake. Dim them down at least an hour before bedtime. For more on this, click here.
- Spend some time relaxing this summer even if you can’t take a vacation. To quote author Anne Lamott, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, even you.”
- And finally, have some fun this summer! Fun goes a long way toward decreasing your job stress.
Want more tips like these? Ck out Broadcaster’s Survival Guide. It’s only $4.99 and loaded with voice and lifestyle tips!