With persistent high temperatures this summer in Idaho, keeping cool is more important than ever. Extreme exposure to heat can cause heat exhaustion and even worse: heat stroke. But keeping cool doesn't mean you have to stay inside. By following these three simple tips, the summer heat can be enjoyed, not just endured, by the whole family.

Stay hydrated. We know staying hydrated is good for many reasons, but this is especially true during the summer months when our bodies are more prone to sweat. Your body will feel cooler if you stay hydrated. It is critical to drink lots of water, but also drinking sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes can help. Electrolytes are necessary for muscle and other body function and can re-hydrate your body faster than water alone.

While hydrating, though, avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages because these liquids tend to promote dehydration.

Eat frequently fresh. Idaho is known for having some of the best fruit stands and farmer's markets around. Take advantage of these summer treasures and eat small portions frequently. Protein-rich foods and large meals cause your body to create metabolic heat in order to break down the food. Avoiding these types of meals will keep your internal body temperature low. Besides, who likes cooking in a sweltering hot kitchen anyway?

Remember the quick cool-off. When your child gets sick, you often bring them a cold facecloth to relax them. Needing to cool-off quickly works the same way. By chilling your pulse points, such as your wrists, temples, armpits and back of the neck, your body will cool itself much faster than trying to cool your whole body down at once. This strategy has shown to reduce your core body heat by up to three degrees.

Idaho outdoors is beautiful this time of year and by following these simple tips, your family will have a happy and healthy summer.

For more preventative tips or health questions, talk with one of our doctors or visit us at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.