If you are new to Arizona, be forewarned that the Arizona heat really turns up during the summer months (May, June, July and August). Not just hot, but really hot if you’re not used to it. Temperatures in Arizona in the summer range from 90 to 125 degrees. Here are some ways you can survive the Arizona heat to avoid serious damage and overheating.

Arizona HeatCredit: Salvatore Vuono

Drink lots of water. Our bodies are 60%-70% water and you can dehydrate pretty fast when the temps are high. Though the amount of water varies for your height, weight, physical activity and other circumstances, you should drink enough water to not get thirsty. Once you are thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated. If you will be out and about, one tip is to freeze a water bottle the night before so that it’s ice cold when you’re ready to head out. Don’t worry, the ice will melt quickly with the hot sun.

Stay in the shade or inside (if you can). Air conditioning is a heat savior when those temps hit 90 and above. Staying inside when there is a heat advisory is the best thing to do. Avoiding the Arizona heat can make a world of difference. If you happen to be outside, you’ll want to find some shade wherever you can find it. Temperatures in the shade are 5-10 degrees cooler sometimes.

Make evening plans. Try to run errands or make plans in the evening times when the temperature drops a little. Usually the worst heat is between 10-2pm.  If you can avoid being out in the sun during this time of day, then it’ll be easier to get around town and not burn up too much.

Wear plenty of sunblock (even when you’re out for a limited amount of time). Getting a suntan is quite popular in the Arizona heat so this is a bit difficult to enforce, but it’s a necessity and a must if you want to avoid skin damage or even worse, skin burns. Apply sunblock liberally on exposed skin and be sure to reapply once your skin begins to feel hot. Be aware that it is a myth that you can not tan while wearing sunblock. You can definitely tan with sunblock and save your skin at the same time.

Go for a swim. Being in water can help you cool off, while giving you a great way to exercise and/or just have fun with family and friends. Arizona has many lakes and rivers, and even water parks, where you can swim, water ski or just relax in.

Hat and Sunglasses for Arizona HeatCredit: zirconicusso

Wear weather protective clothing. A hat and sunglasses are good ways to keep the Arizona heat from beating you. Some stores even carry clothing that has sunblock built into the fabric to keep you from being exposed to harmful UVA/UVB rays. You might think that wearing long sleeves or long pants might make you hot with the sun beating down on you, however, covering your body actually makes you cooler.

Eat and drink something cold. Ice cream and snow cones are always a welcome treat in the scorching heat. Even a cool glass of cold iced tea, water, or lemonade can make you forget about the heat. The cool refreshing taste of a cold drink will melt away the thoughts of the hot Arizona heat.

Window shades and car tinting. Not only does the Arizona heat affect our body temperature, but it also affects the temperatures of our vehicles and homes which could make us miserable. Outfitting your house with window shades or coverings where the sun hits the most can cool it off by 10-15 degrees (saving you a few bucks on air conditioning). If you don’t have your car windows tinted, it will be a good idea to do so before the heat starts blaring through them to get to you.

Get out of town. Most months, weather in Arizona makes this the perfect place to live, however, the heat can get the best of anyone who likes it warm. Sometimes the best thing is to get away for a little while. The high country in Arizona is 20-40 degrees cooler than the larger metropolitan cities. If you don’t mind a bit of a longer drive, California, Utah and Colorado are nice places to visit to get out of the heat.

The Arizona heat is manageable and even enjoyable sometimes if you can follow the tips above. The great thing is that summer comes and goes just like all the seasons. Dealing with summer only three to four months out of the year is worth it to enjoy great Arizona weather during all the other months.This is why most people choose to deal with the Arizona heat.