The heat is on for the summer, so let’s take a moment to review the basics of staying healthy in our desert climate.

Remember to pace yourself.

If you need to be out in the heat, be sure to take frequent breaks, drink plenty of water and try to find a cool spot periodically. Better yet, take it easy and put off strenuous activities until the coolest part of the day.

Dress appropriately by wearing light-colored, lightweight cotton clothing. Cotton releases perspiration more easily than many synthetic materials do and lighter colors reflect light rather than absorbing it, which keeps you cooler too.

Eat lighter meals including more salads, fresh vegetables and fruit.

Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages–especially if you are outdoors. This keeps your body’s cooling system operating effeciently. Remember too that alcohol can induce dehydration, so if you are drinking alcohol, also drink water or another beverage to stay hydrated. It’s a good idea to carry water with you whenever you leave the house to replenish fluids lost during perspiration.

Finally, keep an eye on the very young, the old and your pets. Babies and older adults are more susceptible to heat-induced illness, so check on them regularly. And remember to keep your pets indoors during the hottest part of the day and keep refilling their water bowls.