Whether you work outdoors all year long, or you’re keen to get working outdoors in your own garden now that Summer has finally shown up, keeping cool when working in direct sunshine can be a tricky task.
No matter how experienced you are at handling the heat when it comes to working outside, there are always new tips you can add to your repertoire to make working outside in the Summer heat a breeze!
Here are some of our top tips to help you stay cool when working outside this Summer:
1. Stay Hydrated
On a normal day, especially if you work in an active role, you should already be consuming two litres of water. Sound a lot? It might do if you’re not great at drinking regularly, but if you split it up throughout the day, you’ll find two litres is actually quite manageable. Our bodies are made up of around 60% water – so we really do need to replenish it regularly in order to function properly! But on a hot day, when we’re exerting energy in direct sunlight, then it’s important to ensure we’re consuming 2 litres as a minimum. Your body will be using more water to try and regulate your temperature, so the more water you can drink, the more effectively your body will be able to regulate your temperature and keep you cool. Make sure that your hose provides safe drinking water or else hydration might backfire.
2. Seek Shade Regularly
It may sound obvious, but the more time you can spend out of direct sunlight, the better! If working directly in the sun is unavoidable, then we recommend taking regular breaks. Try to pop indoors/into the shade at least once an hour to grab some water, and just cool off for a while. Not only will this help prevent getting sunburnt or suffering from heat stroke, but it’ll also help you regulate your body temperature throughout the day.
3. Dress Appropriately
It’s so important to make sure you dress for the weather, especially when it’s hot! You’ll want to find workwear which is lightweight and breathable. Cotton t-shirts are a summer workwear essential, as they’re light and floaty and allow your skin to breathe through the material. Silk and linen are also good options for your Summer workwear wardrobe – basically, opt for natural fabrics and you’ll thank us for it later! It’s also worth swapping out your trusty work trousers for a pair of shorts, and investing in a decent baseball cap to keep the sun off your head.
4. Keep Applying SPF
Don’t forget your sunscreen! We know it might sound tedious, but slathering yourself in a high SPF – at least above 30 – is crucial to staying cool and keeping healthy this Summer. Not only will wearing a high SPF protect your skin from harmful rays and any potential damage, but it’ll also prevent sunburn. Sunburn can not only lead to potentially dangerous skin conditions, but it can also raise your body temperature and lead to sunstroke. So even if you think your skin is invincible – and believe us when we say, no matter how dark your skin tone is naturally, it’s still not invincible to sun damage – maybe we can persuade you to wear it if you knew it’d help keep you cool too. Just remember to re-apply it every few hours for optimum protection.
5. Eat Wisely
What you eat can really have an impact on your body temperature, though you might be surprised to hear it! Stodgier foods, such as anything carb-heavy, high in salt or full of saturated fats, take a longer time for your body to digest. This means they use more water during the digestion process too, which can make you feel dehydrated and lethargic. So consider trying to eat little and often when working in the heat, rather than sticking to three big meals a day. Prioritise lighter foods and fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy wholegrains, all of which will be much easier for your body to digest and contain their own water to help you stay hydrated for longer.
We hope you’ve found our tips for staying cool when working outside helpful! Working in the sun can be a real highlight of the Summer months, so long as you’re sensible why not make the most of it and enjoy every minute! You’ll miss that sunshine when the Autumn rolls around again.