Summer is tricky for me. On the one hand, I love to be outside and bask in the sun. On the other hand, I burn ridiculously easily and hate sweating. I guess you can say it’s a love/hate relationship, and a big reason for that is the weird things that the summer heat can do to your body. Yes, spending a sunny day outside can be great, but a lot of people don’t seem to realize the effect the sun and heat actually have on us. We all know about the dangers of sunburns and the importance of SPF, but there are other short term and long term negative side effects that come about when you stay outside for too long. On the flip side, there are some positive side effects that you still need to be aware of.
Good or bad, though, you should be in the know about what’s happening to your body when you spend extra time sweating in the great outdoors. We need some quality vitamin D time to survive (no pervy jokes! I know what you’re thinking), but like so many other things, too much of a great thing can be bad. Want to know what happens to you when you’re really hot (besides sweating through your t-shirt in under an hour)? Here are eight weird things that happen to your body in the summer heat. Feel free to go outside, but listen to your body, put on sunscreen, and inform yourself!
You Get DizzySure, getting dizzy isn't that weird. But do you know why it happens?Your heart pumps blood throughout your body, and when you get hot you sweat a lot more, which means more blood is pumping. In other words: your body is working hard to cool you down, but that can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. The solution is to always stay hydrated and try not to stay outside for too long. Image Source: iStock
Your Mood Might ImproveThere are benefits to being outside! Being in the sun triggers serotonin in your body which is the "happy" hormone. This means relaxing outside can kind of act like a natural anti-depressant. Not to say that if you're sad you should sit outside in the sun for five hours, because you will probably burn, but being outside in generally can definitely boost your mood a bit. Image Source: iStock
...Or You Might Get CrankyOn the flip side, too much of the sun and heat can bring your mood down. If you spend too much time in the summer heat, chances are you might start to feel cranky. Humid and hot weather has been shown to increase irritability and even hostility in some people. So, yeah, just blame it on the weatherman. Image Source: iStock
You Might Stop SweatingThis one is pretty weird. While you normally associate being really hot with sweating, sometimes if you get too hot, your body actually stops sweating. When you're in the heat for too long, your body will try to preserve all of the liquids it has, in order to protect yourself from overheating. This means your sweat is needed elsewhere. If it ever gets to this point, go inside and HYDRATE! Image Source: iStock
Your Hair Color Might ChangeThe sun is a very powerful thing in our lives. It can literally bleach your hair. Well not literally. But it destroys the pigmentation in your hair, which basically strips your hair of its natural color. While it might seem like you're getting free highlights, be careful, as it is damaging. You're better off actually bleaching it! Image Source: iStock
You Get Tan (Duh)Well yeah, duh, but do you know why you get tan? The same pigmentation that is in your hair is also in your skin, but when your skin gets exposed to the sun for too long, it gets damaged, and turns darker because it produces melanin in order to try and protect itself. Your body loves you so much it, it tries to protect you from the sun. Talk about #BodyPositivity. Image Source: iStock
You Get STRONGER!That's right, the sun makes you a superhero. But on a much smaller scale. The ultraviolet rays from the sun causes your skin to create vitamin D, which, studies have shown, can help strengthen your bones. See? The sun can be really important to us. Image Source: iStock
You Want To Take A NapDo you ever wonder why, after a long day at the beach, you feel like you can sleep for 12 years? It's not just you. Your body is exposed to many different chemical changes when you are in the heat: exposure to ultraviolet rays, vitamin D, and other chemicals, which can make you feel sleepy. It is easy to get overworked in the summer, and feeling tired is a sign that you should probably take a break from the sun for a bit. Image Source: iStock
Have you ever experienced any weird things in the heat? Did we miss any? Tell us in the comments!