Keeping Your Cool in the Summer Heat

  • by TEVA'S LIFT MS TEAM
  •   July 04, 2016

Summer is right around the corner, and that means temperatures are rising. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, many people with MS experience “heat intolerance,” or a temporary worsening of symptoms when the weather is very hot or humid.

If that’s true for you or a loved one living with MS, we have some suggestions to help beat the heat.

  1. Keep your environment a consistent temperature whenever possible. With high heat indexes outside, that may mean planning for indoor activities where air conditioning is available.
  2. Try MS cooling vests, neck wraps and bandannas. These wearables can be soaked in cool water and worn during exercise or outdoor activities to help regulate body temperature. Check out the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) Cooling Program for more info.
  3. Hit the pool. Many local parks and recreation programs and YMCAs offer aquatic exercise classes that can help keep you cool while exercising. Read about the benefits of aquatic exercise for those with MS. Don't start an exercise routine without first discussing with your doctor.
  4. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing. Dark clothes absorb more light and heat from the sun. Stick with bright, light fabrics for a more comfortable summer outfit.
  5. Plan inside activities. Try to stay in the AC when temperatures skyrocket outside. Movies are always a favorite. You can go to the theater or reserve some of your favorite movies on DVD at the library and invite friends over for a personal screening at home.
  6. Schedule outdoor activities during the cooler morning or evening hours whenever possible.
  7. Stay hydrated. During warm weather, it’s more important than ever to drink plenty of fluids. Drinking cool water can help keep you cool and refreshed.

What are some of your favorite ways to make the most of hot days? Share your favorite warm-weather tips in a comment below.

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15 Comment(s)
  • douglas  | July 05, 2016
    When doing some yard work use a cool towel on you forarm .this should help some .this is not a sure thing but anything may help us. Think first
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | July 06, 2016
      It sounds like you’ve found something that works for you, Douglas – kudos for your efforts! Please keep us posted, and be sure to check back for more tips from the community.
  • Casey | July 11, 2016
    I am one of those individuals with MS and I suffer from "heat intolerance" and the worsening of symptoms when the temperature is hot and humid. All of these suggestions hit the nail on the head! Thanks for sharing them.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | July 12, 2016
      Hurray! We love hearing that Lift MS has been helpful – that’s just what we intended! We appreciate your part in those efforts, Casey.
  • Daisy M. | July 15, 2016
    1. Have ac. Stay home, watch movies, cook, freeze meals, listen to music, keep bathrooms tidy & clean, read, do laundry, organize etc. 2. Go to the malls, medical appointments, grocery shop biweekly, short walks in the evenings around my apt. Complex, meet new friends.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | July 18, 2016
      Great suggestions, Daisy!
  • Norma | July 31, 2016
    Can you tell me where you can purchase a cooling vest? I took your link but it seems they have a means tested program and give away the vests. I didn't see an opportunity to purchase a cooling vest.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | August 12, 2016
      Hi Norma, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has some great information available on where to purchase cooling products here: http://ssshare.it/CYwl Thank you for reaching out. Best wishes!
  • Linda Moran  | May 25, 2017
    I freeze bottles of water. when I go away from home and the weather outside our even inside where I may be I carry the frozen water bottle with me. I can use the bottle to cool me down quickly. For example sometimes I put the bottle behind my neck or small of my back, against wrist;places I know when my body gets hot and MS flare could be triggered I can cool down fast and when melts drink
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | May 25, 2017
      Thank you for sharing what works for you, Linda.
  • Bernie | May 25, 2017
    I see kids for art therapy wherever I can find available space. If AC is unavailable, a fan and spray bottle work well. The finer the mist the more often I can spray, and it's fun for the kids I work with.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | May 25, 2017
      What a great idea, Bernie!
  • Nancy | May 30, 2017
    Frozen green grapes are a delight
  • Robyn | May 30, 2017
    I also have difficulty with the heat but I have 2 young children and they like to be outside in the summer. I have a little fan attached to a water bottle. I can spritz myself with water and cool myself with the fan. It works great for me.
  • Susie | May 31, 2017
    I do all my shopping after the sun goes down when it is cooler and the inside of my car doesn't get as hot.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | May 31, 2017
      Thanks for sharing, Susie.
  • Sue | June 01, 2017
    Staying hydrated and cool best i can Some AC not real fond of it but use when have to
  • Sue | June 02, 2017
    stay hyrdrated try to stay out of direct sunlite but defintely enjoy the warm weather
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | June 05, 2017
      Thank you, Sue!
  • Bob | June 03, 2017
    I also suffer from the heat I work in a machine shop no windows no air con. when it's 85-90 degrees outside it's easy 105+ at work. Any suggestions? Thanks
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | June 05, 2017
      Hi Bob, if you have specific questions about your health, please reach out to your health care provider.
  • Juana | June 04, 2017
    Read a good book. Sort out things to throw and things to keep.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | June 05, 2017
      Thank you for sharing this tip, Juana.
  • Ya Boy Peteys | July 25, 2017
    I have a hard time with hot and cold.
    Pools and hot tubs.
    I got both sides of the temp. sensitivity.

    Hooray for MS...
    Thanks for the info though, I tried.
  • Terri | August 07, 2017
    I appreciate your website and all of the good information about how to deal with the heat in the summer. Thanks so much!
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | August 07, 2017
      We’re glad you liked this, Terri. We hope you’ll check back often for new content!