One hot mama’s tips for keeping your coolPosted: July 7, 2011 | |
I am one hot mama. You can tell by the flushed cheeks and sweat dripping down my back. I mean, geez, Benny, I’m baking like a toasted cheeser!
And who wouldn’t be? Summer on the ball field or soccer sidelines is pretty steamy stuff. It makes things downright uncomfortable, and high temps can lead to serious health conditions including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. So in the spirit of helping you keep your cool, here are a few tips from the last of the red hot mamas.
Find some shade
Obvious, I know, but easier said than done, since shade trees are hard to come by at the fields. So get inventive and make your own shade. A shade umbrella is about as easy as it gets. You can tie a tarp or a blanket over the top of the dugout to keep the sun away from the players. Pop-up portable canopies are easy to set up on the sidelines and offer great Three Stooges opportunities when setting up and taking them down. (I’d put our softball parents up against anyone in the canopy erection competition.) My canopy chair has saved me some serious sunburn and is also lightweight and easy to carry. It’s got the added benefit of saving me from foul balls to the head.
A wipe down with a cold rag is really refreshing and effective in helping you or your player cool off. I pack an old skate towel or golf towel in a Ziploc baggie of ice water and leave it in the cooler. The players can put in around their neck or drape it over their head to cool off. This is effective and cheap, but a little drippy. I recently discovered the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad and used it with great results last weekend. Just wet the Chilly Pad and it stays cool, without being soppy and drippy. It’s washable, too. Another great refresher is to throw a packet of Wet Wipes in the cooler and use those to wipe down.
Involve the fans
A little breeze helps the sweat evaporate and speeds up your body’s cooling mechanism. There are a variety of portable, lightweight fans available on Amazon or in the seasonal aisle of CVS or Kmart. They don’t deliver the hurricane winds of a window fan but they do help. My battery operated clip-on fan is the envy of many. One mom on our team has a solar-powered fan.
2-4-6-8 How do we rehydrate?
Water, water, water and more water. You and your athlete should start drinking water before you even leave for the field. Freeze a few water bottles and they’ll thaw for drinking later while keeping the cooler chilled in the meantime. Pack snacks that have a high fluid content, like watermelon, grapes, cucumbers and apples, and eat them between games for some hydration and nutrition. This is also the time to break out the Gatorade to replace some of those electrolytes you are sweating out.
When things get steamy, keep your cool with some of these tips. And if you’ve got some suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Just post them in the comments.
Keep it cool!