Our Nurses > Ask a Nurse > Fun in the sun and keeping your cool
Fun in the sun and keeping your cool
August 20, 2013
My friends and I are going to spend a long weekend together at a vacation house we rented. I'm really excited to go to the beach, but I know that the heat is a problem with my MS. I don't want to miss out on the fun. What can I do?
– Worried About the Heat at the Beach
Nurse Karen replies:
Because things like hot days, or even hot showers, can elevate your core temperature, it's a good idea to avoid spending too much time in those environments.
But as with many things in life with MS, you can still have the experiences you want to have, it's just a matter of talking to your doctor about the level of heat that's safe for you and then tweaking or modifying your approach to hot activities.
When you go to the beach, stay in the shade and remember to pack enough water to stay hydrated while you're outside. Try freezing a few half bottles the night before and packing those too. They'll stay cooler longer and you can press them up against a pulse point, like your wrist or temples, to cool off quickly.
Another trick that might work for you is soaking a bandana or towel in water and slipping it in a plastic bag. Freeze a couple of those the night before, and then take them with you. If you need to cool down, unzip the bag and lay one of the cold towels across the back of your neck. You can even wade out about chest deep in the ocean and let the cool water help bring your core body temperature down.
Just be mindful of the time that you are spending in the sun and take breaks if you need to. If you have to go to the car and blow the AC on your face for a few minutes, that's OK.
You can also take a break to make some nice cold drinks for everyone. Drinking something cool or even enjoying a frozen treat like a popsicle will help keep your temperature regulated, and your friends will probably really appreciate it too!
— Nurse Karen, MS One to One® Nurse
Helping since 2013
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