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It is hot out there

I cover a wide range of topics in this space, from DIY suggestions to seasonal reminders. Today I want to discuss your health.

Home maintenance and repair, and home improvement work can be hot work. With the heat index hitting triple digits most afternoons from now into September, I would like to discuss how professionals manage the heat. This can help you manage the heat.

Staying hydrated is at the top of the list. Water is your best bet. Watch your urine color to understand the state of your body. As urine goes from light yellow, to bright yellow, to dark yellow, your body is telling you something. Take a break and drink more water and continue to drink water once the work is done to rehydrate your body.

Alcohol is dehydrating. Friday night’s end of week wind-down can leave your body dehydrated before you even start your Saturday chores. Consider what you need to get done during the day, and take appropriate precautions the night before. Watch your intake, and drink plenty of water prior to bed.

For most of us, your body will acclimate better if you start early in the day when it is a bit cooler and work in the heat as the day warms up. Walking out of your air-conditioned home mid-afternoon, the hottest part of the day, and firing up the lawn mower in the blazing sun is quite a shock to the system. Start early and try and get things done by the time the hottest part of the day arrives.

You can also take a break during those hottest hours. Professionals cannot take a pool break mid-day, but you may, to cool your body down. Then finish your work in the early evening when the sun is lower on the horizon and the temperatures are starting to drop.

Once in the heat, know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. NOAA says heat kills almost 5X the volume of people each year than cold does. If you start feeling light headed or dizzy, get nauseous or cramp up, you are showing signs of developing heat exhaustion. Take a break, get where it is cool, and hydrate. If you develop a throbbing headache, stop sweating, or lose consciousness you are showing signs of heat stroke and should call 911.

The heat can be wonderful when in and out of the pool, but it is a killer when you overdo it and do not know the signs that your body is in distress. Supporting your own needs around the home is satisfying, but only if you have the skills to do what needs to be done and you do not compromise your health in the process.

If you need assistance with one or more items on your to-do list, during the hottest months, or any month, please know that Mr. Handyman is here to help. We understand that many homeowners do many of their own general maintenance and repairs and we are happy to step in on a spot basis when time, tools or know-how are an issue. We can also assist when the temperatures are simply more than you want to deal with.

Be careful out there.