Staying cool when it’s hot. Easy, right? Wear as little as possible, go to the beach every day and eat a bunch of ice cream. Great advice – for a 12-year-old child. Unfortunately, when it comes to keeping cool, real life often gets in the way. Healthy eating, dressing professionally, and going to work are just a few of the things that necessitate slightly more complicated solutions to battling the heat. If you’re trying to balance adulthood with keeping your body temperature at a comfortable level, here are a few tips you may not have considered.
Eating and Drinking
The best way to check your hydration level is to look at the color of your urination. If your urine is darker than the color of straw, it probably means your close to dehydration and should drink some water. Avoid sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages, and caffeinated drinks, which are natural diuretics.
The right choice of foods can also help you keep cool. Avoid eating protein heavy foods and meat during the hottest times of the day, as they can increase metabolic heat, and add to water loss. Spicy peppers may help to keep you cool by inducing perspiration. Smaller meals are another good way of keeping your temperature down.Large meals require the body to work harder to break them down.
Stay out of the sun between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is hottest, especially in the warmer months. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. Apply at least every two hours and be sure to cover your whole body by using a shot glass sized amount of lotion. Stay in the shade, and try to wet your skin as often as possible. Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator at home or work to spray on your face and body for a quick cool down.
Even though work requires a certain degree of professionalism when it comes to clothing, there are certain choices you can make to keep your core temperature down without violating company policy. Cotton and linen clothing is the best clothing materials for keeping cool and absorbing moisture. Keep your head covered with a wide brimmed hat when you’re outside, and wear breathable footwear. Cotton socks are good, but moisture wicking socks can keep your feet even cooler. Choose ventilated running shoes to keep your feet from overheating.
Avoid moisture trapping synthetic clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen when clothing is very thin. Be sure to weigh the option of UV exposure with clothing choice, as very thin clothing may expose you to heat from the sun, causing your body temperature to rise.
Keeping the House Cool
Fans in the house can keep you cool by circulating air. You can try making a “swamp cooler,” or evaporative cooler by placing a bowl of chilled water in front of a fan. However, keep in mind, these will not be effective in humid heat.
Air conditioning is a wonderful option. Visit public buildings if the air conditioning in your home is not adequate, or as a way to avoid racking up a huge electric bill. Keep curtains and blinds closed to keep the sun’s rays from coming into the house, and insulate the house well to keep cool air from escaping.
Have any tips for us on how your stay cool when the temps are hot, hot, hot? Let us know! We’re dying to hear!