Everyone knows that summer is the hottest time of the year and for some people this can make it impossible to handle. While some people just opt to stay inside with their air conditioning this is not an option for everybody. Some people don’t have the luxury of air conditioning while others are simply outdoors people and want to go outside no matter how warm it is. The good news is that no matter what your plans are during the summer, you have plenty of options to help you beat the heat and stay cool. While some specifically help those that don’t have air conditioning, others will work for everyone.
It doesn’t matter whether you are inside or out and whether you have air conditioning, one of the best things to do when it is warm out is to drink plenty of water. Doctors recommend that on a normal day you drink at least eight glasses of water (eight ounces each) but if it is warm out you need to increase your intake to stay hydrated. Listen to your body and if you are thirsty, drink plenty of water. This is important because when it’s warm out you lose a great deal of water due to sweat so you need to replenish this. Another tip to help you stay cool is to avoid drinks with sugar, caffeine or alcohol as they will make you more dehydrated.
Whether you have just spent a great deal of time outside or you don’t have air conditioning in your home, one of the best ways to beat the heat is to take a cold shower. While this may seem very unappealing (especially if you aren’t warm while reading this), it is a very effective way to cool down your body. Not only will it help you cool off, but it can help you feel clean again after sweating for a long time.
If you don’t want to go for the plunge and take a cold shower, you can beat the heat by keeping a spray bottle around you. If you get too warm, simply spray yourself with the water. When the water evaporates, it will help you stay cool. Although it’s tempting to spray your forehead, you should go for the wrists first as this will cool down the blood flowing throughout your body.
Don’t Add Heat
If your home lacks air conditioning, you want to do whatever you can to avoid making the place hotter. This means that you should avoid anything that produces heat such as lighting candles, using the stove or oven or washing things in warm water. Although they seem small, each of these things can increase your home’s temperature by a few degrees. This also means that you should shut off your computer when it isn’t in use.
Spicy Food Not Warm Food
Although it seems weird to eat spicy food when you are over-heated, it is actually one of the best ways to cool down. Take a minute and think about the countries that are known for the spiciest foods; most of them are in hot climates. That is because spicy food helps in two ways: first it makes you sweat which helps your body cool down more quickly. Secondly, it will make you want to drink more water which as we mentioned, is incredibly helpful. Just remember when you are eating spicy foods to avoid any meals that are physically warm such as soups as these will increase your body temperature and discomfort.
When selecting your meals, opt for foods that have high water content as these will help keep you hydrated. You should also avoid foods that take longer to digest as they can make you feel sluggish. That is why you should stick to cool fruits and vegetables and avoid hamburgers when it’s warm out.
Avoid The Sun
If you are outside, you should always stay in the shade when possible and the same is true when you are in your house without air conditioning. Anytime you are directly in the sunlight, you will overheat faster and simply feel warmer so avoiding it and sticking to the shade (and avoiding sunnier rooms in your home) is one of the best ways to beat the heat. If you are inside, close all your blinds or drapes as this will only add to the problem.
Homemade Air Conditioner
If your home doesn’t have A/C, you’re not out of luck. Although it probably won’t be as effective, you can make a homemade air conditioner to help you stay cool. Simply fill a low bowl with ice and put it in front of a fan. When the fan blows the air in your direction, it will be cool, helping you beat the heat.
If you have A/C, you know that you should never run it with your windows open as this will simply move around the warm air (as well as let the cool air out) but few people realize the same is true if you don’t have A/C. While it is tempting to open your window to let in a breeze, it is best to avoid this if it is warmer than around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. That is because it will let the hot air from outside into your home, increasing the temperature.
If you want to beat the heat, you need to dress appropriately. Avoid covering your feet and head as (just like in winter) your body cools off more easily if these areas of your body are bare. For the rest of your clothes, opt for synthetic fabrics such as those worn by athletes as these cut sweat and the stickiness that comes with it. If you want to wear cotton, always stick to loose clothing in light colors. Your goal when choosing your clothes is to let your sweat evaporate from your skin to the air.
Cool Off In Bed
If it doesn’t get cooler at night you should do whatever you can to stay cool in bed. The best way to keep your sheets cool is to fill a cotton sock using rice, tie it off and put it in the freezer for a few hours before bed. The rice will stay cool for a long time, in turn keeping you cool. Just be careful as too much coolness in bed can make you sick.