It’s funny how we find ourselves pining away for summer all winter long, but then when it finally gets here, many of us start to complain that we’re too hot. Temperatures don’t have to be up into the triple digits for us to be hot, either – all they need to be is warmer than what we’re used to for us to feel uncomfortable. Here in NY, it’s not so much the heat that’s bad, but the heat combined with the humidity that can easily make a 75 degree day feel like it’s 90! Keeping cool in summer heat is a challenge, but it’s not impossible.
It’s especially important for children and the elderly as well as people with diabetes or heart conditions to keep cool. I don’t have any of those, but anyone who knows me knows that I don’t deal well with heat, so I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for staying cool over the years. Following are some tips to beat the summer heat without turning on the air conditioner.
- Don’t pick the hottest day of the year to do all of your outdoor activities. Stay in the shade whenever possible. The yard work can wait for a cooler day.
- Stay hydrated. Drink as much water as you think you need, and then drink more. By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Different doctors and health organizations have different ideas about the recommended amount of water you should drink in a day, but in general, it’s more than you think. Ask your doctor what he or she recommends.
- Eat spicy foods. Yeah, that sounds totally backwards. But – spicy foods will make you sweat, and therefore you’ll be cooler. Feel free to break out the jalapeno peppers, but in small amounts. The more food you eat, the harder your body will have to work to digest it, and that can be counterproductive.
- Cold treats are your friend! Stock up on ice pops, ice cream, and make sure you have plenty of ice cubes for water!
- Give yourself regular breaks. If you’re feeling overheated, take a quick break from whatever activity you’re doing and start again when you cool off a little bit. Bonus points if you sit in front of a fan for a few minutes.
- Dress in light colored clothing. Dark clothing attracts heat, so that black tank top will feel warmer than a white T-shirt with more coverage.
- Have some water fun. If you don’t have a pool in your yard, you can use a community pool, a nearby splash pad, or a local lake or beach. If for some reason none of those are an option, look for some water relief with a garden hose, a sprinkler, or your shower. Dipping your feet in a bucket full of cool water for a few minutes will even do the trick.
- Soak your hat in cool water and put it on your head. Then soak a towel and put it on your shoulders, neck, and arms.
- Keep your pulse points cool. Holding an ice pack on your ankles and the back of your knees for a few minutes and running cool water on your wrists will help cool off your entire body.
- Avoid alcohol. Sure, sitting poolside with a fruity umbrella drink is the reason summer exists, but alcohol on super hot days will just dehydrate you. Consequently, you’ll feel even hotter (not be confused with the kind of hot that people think they are when they’ve had too much alcohol!)
These are just a few of the many tips to keep cool in hotter weather. Depending on your personal situation, you may have your own. Feel free to share them with us in the comments!