everyone has a different strategy but one thing is clear. that is — you need a strategy. you are so aware of the heat that you are forced to think about how you are going to adjust or deal with it.
my evolving recipe involves five (5) elements.
the first and most important may shock you. to me the most important element is your mental and emotional attitude toward the heat. I think this makes a huge difference in how you deal with the sweltering temperature. a positive attitude makes a difference. for example, I always say I love the heat. just a blanket statement like that frames your reaction to the reality of the weather.
second, take full advantage of the early morning “break” in the heat, which on most days is 20-30 degrees less hot than the hottest part of the day. i am pretty religious about mapping out an activity that takes me outdoors between the hours of 5:30 and 9am.
yesterday i took a 20 mile cycling trip, followed by swimming 10 laps in the pool. tomorrow, i will take a two hour hike, followed by the pool.
another day, i hit tennis balls back from the ball machine for 30 minutes and then hit the pool. another day, i hit the gym and used the machines in my never ending attempt to maintain some form to this body. another day it is pickleball followed by the pool. you get the idea.
the thing that is consistent here is that most involve activity and are outdoor. all are followed by laps in the pool, for obvious reasons.
third, stay in air conditioned comfort during the hottest part of the day. don’t go outdoors if you don’t have to. this means staying in your home or residence, or at your office, or in a store shopping, or in a movie theater. it is the last one — the movie theater — that i and my desert best friend PJ have focused on. we see a movie almost every day, and usually do so in the late afternoon around 4 or 5 or 6 when the heat is at its maximum. (more about our movie selections later)
the fourth element of the “beat the heat” strategy for me and many others in the desert is to leave and take trips outside the desert. why stay in this heat? one has to ask themselves this question.
in my case, i have managed to spend two weeks in June in Seattle. and will spend two weeks of July on the east coast in New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Buffalo. and then in August will spend one week in Las Vegas and three in Long Beach California. so, when you add up the three months of summer, i will have traveled away from the desert for 8 of the 12 weeks.
and i am not alone in this response to the heat.
the fifth and final element to my strategy to beat the heat is to consume tons of water. water, water, water. take it early and often. this is so obvious but cannot be overstated. I am always amazed at the number of hikers on the trails in the desert who do not have water with them. mindboggling!!
there you have the 5 elements of the Peterson Prescription to “beat the heat”. I am sure some of my readers will have their own strategies which I hope that you will share in your comments.