People, we’re deep into summer in the Northern hemisphere and it’s HOT out there! (In fact, the Philadelphia area is under an excessive heat warning, so stay inside in the air conditioner if you live around here!) I don’t know about you but I want to spend as much time as I can outside without developing heat stroke. So what can we do to make sure we stay healthy while still having some serious summer fun?
Spend time outside during the edges of the day. Do your most rigorous outdoor activities either early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is low in the sky. You’ll have plenty of time to fit in your fun, since we often have 15 solid hours of daylight in the warmer months.
Take cool showers. If you’re hot and sweaty, take a cool shower. The cooler water running over your pulse points (neck, wrists, elbows, knees, etc.) will lower your body temperature and give some relief. And don’t towel off too fast: drying off naturally just wrapped in a towel will keep you cooler longer than drying off with towel and getting dressed quickly.
Cover yourself with a damp towel. Water vapor is a really good conductor of heat: the water evaporating off your skin and the towel will pull heat away from your body and keep you cool.
Press an ice pack (wrapped in a thin towel) against the back of your neck. Like a cool shower, pressing an ice pack to your pulse points will cool you down fast. This version has the benefit of not needing to involved nudity!
Chill your feet. Plop those tootsies into a bucket of cool water. This helps even when you’re sitting out in the sun. Don’t want to swim? Just sit on the edge of the pool with your feet submerged to keep cool.
Stay hydrated. Sweat is the body’s way of cooling itself off, so keeping yourself hydrated will help your body operate efficiently. Chug an 8 oz. glass of water before bed to help your body regulate temperature overnight.
Have it made in the shade. It can be a good 10 degrees cooler in the shade, particularly if you’re away from asphalt and surrounded by greenery. Duck under a tree (near moving water if possible) and laze the day away.
Wear loose cotton clothing. Loose clothes allow for air flow around the body, allowing moisture to evaporate instead of being absorbed into clothing. Wicking fabric is great for workouts, but if you have to dress more formally, a loose cotton dress or shirt will keep your temperature down.
Spritz yourself. Keep a spray bottle full of water in the fridge and use it to spritz yourself with cool water when you’re feeling warm.
Find your biggest fan. If you don’t have air conditioning, set your fans to blow warm air OUT of a window instead of trying to get cool air in. Also, make sure you create a cross breeze by opening windows on opposite ends of your dwelling. It really does help!
Eat cooler foods. As much as I love a roast chicken or some tasty baked goods, I don’t want to slave over a hot stove in the middle of summer! I do a lot of cooler foods: salads, sandwiches, etc. or things that I can cook quickly on a stovetop or in a crockpot. It keeps the room cooler and you cooler, too. If I want a warm element on my salad I grill some steak or chicken.
Whattaya think?! Will you keep your cool this summer? I know I will!