5 ways to beat this unbearable heat wave in Birmingham

Heat wave covering the world
These dogs sure know how to beat the heat. (Barton Perkins / Bham Now)

Record-breaking heat waves are sweeping the world and experts say that they’re not going away anytime soon. As any true Alabamian knows, bad stuff can happen in the middle of a big heatwave, children or animals dying in cars, elderly neighbors sweltering in poorly air-conditioned homes, drought, heatstroke, etc. We at Bham Now have compiled a list of tips and tricks for how best to weather the ongoing heat wave in Birmingham. Read on to learn about how to survive the heat.

1. Eat your water

Strawberries at Market at Pepper Place 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Fresh strawberries at the Market at Pepper Place in Birmingham, Alabama. (Pepper Place / Facebook)

Everybody knows the importance of drinking lots of water when it’s hot out, but it’s equally important to eat your water. Certain foods have a high water content in them and can help you stay hydrated throughout the day. Here are a few foods that you should try and prioritize eating:

  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles

Healthy foods like these can be found at farmers’ markets, like the one in Pepper Place.

“One of the great things about summer in Alabama is that our seasonal foods that we have such as tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe and peaches. A lot of these foods are already really high in water and in electrolytes.”

Dr. Rita Goyal, Signature Health Homewood

2. Wear loose-fitting clothes

DSC 0189 5 ways to beat this unbearable heat wave in Birmingham
Loose-fitting clothes help with air circulation. (Barton Perkins / Bham Now)

Wear clothing that doesn’t latch onto your skin too tightly. Loose-fitting clothes allow air to circulate and can keep you cool both day and night. It’s actually an age-old tactic dating back to the Bedouin tribes that thrived in the Arabian desert and will be an essential way to stay cool in the heat wave.

“Tight restrictve clothing will make you sweat more, which will dehydrate you quicker.”

Dr. Rita Goyal, Signature Health Homewood

3. Sleep cool

Clay 5 ways to beat this unbearable heat wave in Birmingham
It’s important to stay cool at night (Barton Perkins / Bham Now)

Heatwaves can strike at all hours, and people have been known to die of heat stroke and dehydration even at night. So, it’s important to try and stay cool any way you can, and if you have air conditioning you should try and keep it going all night. But if you don’t have AC, here are a few tricks you can try.

  • Freezing sheets and pillows before bed
  • Taking a cold shower
  • Avoid late-night snacks
  • Use fans to keep air circulating in the room
  • Go to a cooling shelter if you need to

BONUS: Save on your power bill this summer with 3 easy tips from Alabama Power

4. Be patient

DSC 0508 5 ways to beat this unbearable heat wave in Birmingham
Heat waves can bring out the worst in us. (Barton Perkins / Bham Now)

Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that heat waves make people more irritable, stressed and generally just angry. It’s important to keep this in mind as we suffer through the heat and try to embrace mindfulness exercises such as working out, meditation and yoga. There are a number of places around Birmingham you can go to cool off and relax, including:

5. Look out for your friends and neighbors

DSC 0185 5 ways to beat this unbearable heat wave in Birmingham
Watch out for friends and family. (Barton Perkins / Bham Now)

It’s important to remember that we’re all in this together during this heat wave. Paying attention to friends and neighbors and being able to recognize the signs of heat stroke can prove to be life-saving. The Greater Birmingham Humane Society has also released a list of tips for how to care for our furry friends during this oncoming heat wave that is a must-read for any animal lover. These tips include:

  • Check the heat of the pavement with your hand
  • Don’t take mid-day walks
  • Never leave your pet in the car without AC
  • Provide plenty of water and shade for your furry friend

“It’s on us as a community to keep our eyes on both the animals and the people to make sure that they are kept safe during this heatwave.”

Stephanie Salvago, Director of Marketing, The Greater Birmingham Humane Society

In the end, we’re all in this together and together we’ll survive this heatwave.

Know any other cool ways to beat the heat? Let us know @bhamnow!

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Barton Perkins
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