Gardening Attire and Heat Stroke Prevention
Goal ==> Happy healthy plants & a Happy healthy you!
To ensure you get the most of your garden as in any endeavor, you should dress the part. Most experienced gardeners are accustomed to gardening early or late in the day, away from the direct rays of the sun.
Being overly energetic and focused without hydrating and taking a break every now and then often leads to heat exhaustion followed by heatstroke.
Heat exhaustion is a result of physical exertion in a hot environment. It is usually accompanied by profuse sweating, dizziness, nausea, and weakness. Heat stroke if not addressed morphs quickly into heat stroke.
Heat Stroke ==> Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, in this instance from working in the sun, resulting in cessation of sweating and extremely high body temperature. This is a life threatening condition and should be taken seriously.
The choice of clothing you wear matters when gardening. Years ago I used to spend hours in the garden during mid-morning. Yes, this is when the sun is close to its peak!
I’d be sweating up a storm, and the next minute I’d be dry and on fire. At that point in time, I went directly from heat exhaustion to heat stroke.
I’d feel awful. I was hot, my cheeks were hot, had a headache, and felt dizzy and nauseas. I’d run into the house, take a shower, and rest for hours, terminating my garden activities for the rest of the day. Don’t let this happen to you!
Prevention of Heat Stroke
Try to schedule your garden chores in the cooler hours of the morning or late afternoon. Make sure you wear a hat and a long sleeved shirt. Believe it or not, you can even get sunburned hands (back of them) or sunburned feet (the top of them). Keep this in mind and wear gloves and make sure you have full coverage for your feet.
Maintain your hydration level. For me, I personally use an electrolyte mix, which helps keep me balanced. I’ve found this also helps prevent or reduce headaches. Plus, I get the added bonus of feeling well enough after gardening to do another activity later in the day. My favorite electrolyte solution is called Rebound.
I prefer a good pair of boots.
…..Well, most of the time I’m out in the garden early in the morning, when the grass is still wet. I like dry feet. My favorite pair is from Carhartt. These have a thick soft sole and air holes higher up, allowing for my feet to breathe.
Long Sleeved Shirt
Again, use an UPF rated shirt and make sure you wear long sleeves. I’m not a big fan of sun lotion. I don’t like the way it feels, so I stick to wearing a long sleeve shirt or fleece instead.
The cotton gloves dipped in a plastic coating are great and can be found in any garden center. They allow your hands to breath and are great for planting in the garden. The also protect your hands from excessive use.
Use an UPF rated hat with a wide brim. This will significantly reduce the sun exposure to your head, eyes, ears, nose, and neck. Many people don’t realize that their favorite weaved hat or baseball cap actually has little holes in them, resulting in sunburn of your scalp.