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Humidity In Summer – Why It Makes Us Feel Hotter

June 9th, 2018

In the hot summer months, many of us struggle to stay cool. To make matters worse, it can be pretty humid too. The soaring temperatures combined with the humidity can make for a very uncomfortable day.

Why does humidity make us feel so much hotter?

Let’s take a look at how humidity works!

humidity

First, we should review what humidity actually is. According to Business Insider, “Humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air.” This is why you feel more sweaty on humid days.

When it’s humid, your body slowly becomes worse at cooling down. It becomes less efficient the more humid it is. This is one of the major reasons that you can feel so hot when it’s humid out.

Less evaporation leaves us feeling hotter

Heat alone causes our bodies to sweat. This is one of the ways that our bodies are able to stay cool. When we get hot, the sweat gets hot too. The sweat heating up means that it can come off of the skin or evaporate, creating a cooling effect.

heat

Unfortunately, humid weather can have an effect on the process of sweating. In short, it slows down the process at which your body can become cool. The evaporation doesn’t occur as smoothly or quickly.

When this happens, you’re left feeling hot for a longer amount of time. The heat that you feel actually remains in your body. It gets trapped, which prevents you from sweating to cool down.

The consequences

The whole issue with humidity leads to a couple of health problems aside from the discomfort. Since the heat is trapped in your body, you are at a higher risk of heat stroke.

skin

Additionally, you are stuck with the moisture from the air, which can make you feel even worse. It’s not an ideal situation. Many people find it challenging to tolerate both heat and humidity.

Because of how hot humidity can make you feel, weather forecasters will provide the temperature, and a “feels like” temperature. This can help you to know what to prepare for more effectively.

Here are a few tips that can come in handy when you’re trying to combat the hot and humid weather:

Stay indoors

This one is easier said than done, but it’s important. If the heat and humidity truly bother you, it’s worth making some sacrifices. When possible, hang out inside. If you do have to go outdoors, try to stay in shaded areas. This can help to cope with the high temperatures more easily!

Stay hydrated

Hydration is an essential part of staying cool. Drink plenty of water. If you become dehydrated, you will be putting yourself in danger. Try to avoid alcoholic drinks for the most part. Juice, water, and electrolyte sports drinks are good choices.

Wear sweat-wicking clothing

These materials will keep the moisture off of your skin. They are also usually thin to help your skin breathe a little bit better. Look for loose and lightweight clothing to wear when it’s hot outside. Your body will thank you!

clothing

It’s important to be aware of how humidity can affect our bodies and the way we cool down. What it really comes down to is how easily we can sweat. On humid days, the heat is trapped in our bodies, which means that we can’t sweat. Since sweating keeps us cool, we are left feeling even hotter.

Pay attention to the “feels like” temperature in addition to the regular temperature. Try to be prepared by wearing loose and flowing clothing. Drink plenty of water and spend some time indoors!

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Source: Business Insider

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