How to Stay Cool and Beat the Heat this season
We’re quickly rolling into the month of July, and judging by the way that things are going, it’s going to be a scorcher this summer. While hot weather is nice, and you’ve never looked better than with that killer tan, it’s crucial to know how to keep yourself cool. Heat stroke—or worse, hyperthermia—are very real things. When your body produces way too much heat, or absorbs way too much heat, it can cause some serious damage.
Without further ado, here are some tips on how you can keep yourself cool, even when it’s heating up.
1. Drink lots and lots of water
Hydration is key when your body is trying to maintain homeostasis, or the regulated state (in this case, at a decent temperature). Sweating, though kind of unappealing sometimes, is your body’s way of cooling you down.
Contrary to popular belief, while iced water is your safest bet in cooling you down, things like soda or energy drinks will also help you cool down. Any liquid is better than no liquid.
Having said that, make sure you’re not drinking coffee, as it’s a diuretic and can have dehydrating effects.
2. Avoid the sun between 11am to 2pm
The sun is the hottest between 11am and 2pm, and sunburns are most likely to happen during that period. Limiting your exposure will limit your chances of overheating.
If you can’t get around not being outside during those hours, make sure you dress appropriately.
3. Dress appropriately
Wear loose, breathable (think: cotton) clothing and footwear that won’t leave your feet sweaty. Hats are also crucial for blazing hot weather, keeping you cool by providing shade. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from damaging UV rays.
4. Refrigerate or freeze your bedsheets
Once you try this trick, you’ll wonder why you haven’t thought of it before. Place your bedsheets in your fridge or freezer for a half an hour before you sleep, and you’ll never have trouble falling asleep because of the heat again.
Also consider investing in soft gel packs that you can place underneath your sheets, or tucked between your legs (wrapped in a tea towel).
5. Cool down your “hot zones”
Your pressure points are your secret key to happiness! Applying a little ice pack or a bottle filled with iced water will help you cool down immediately.
These pressure points are:
– Behind the knees
– Elbow bends
6. Get spicy
Weird but true: spicy foods actually help you cool down. Spicy food increases your blood circulation, which in turn gets you sweaty. And, as we discussed before, sweating cools you down when the sweat cools down.
7. Eat a popsicle
It was the best way to cool down when you were a kid, and nothing has changed. Cool down by eating a popsicle!
Try these basil watermelon popsicles to beat the heat!
Handful of basil
1/2 seedless baby watermelon, peeled and flesh cut into large chunks
Juice the basil and watermelon in an electric juicer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir the juice with a spoon. Working in batches, pour the juice into the wells of an ice pop mold and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 8 pops.
8. Make a smoothie to cool down
Don’t feel like a popsicle? An ice-cold smoothie will bring your temperature right down, not only because of its chilly factor, but also because it’ll keep you hydrated.
Smoothie hack: add liquids like coconut water or blend some wheatgrass in, both of which have hydrating properties.
Try this strawberry-watermelon hydrating smoothie.
1 cup watermelon
1/4 cup strawberries
1/2 cup pure, unsweetened coconut water
4 ice cubes
1 handful of wheatgrass
Add ingredients to a blender until smooth, and enjoy!
9. Have more salads
How does a hot bowl of soup sound on this hot sunny day? Not so good?
Choose chilled items for lunch instead. Salads are a great option, and you’ll also be feeling healthier than if you downed a burger for lunch.
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