Keep your cool: Surprising ways to beat summer heat

The return of summer is a time for joy, especially after a long, cold winter like the one we just had. More daylight and warmer temperatures bring back adventures on the lake, days in the garden and holidays grilling with family and friends. But that doesn’t mean that some days when the mercury spikes, you don’t find yourself wishing for cooler temps.

Fortunately, there are several small things you can do to keep cool without cranking up costly air conditioning:

  • Aim fans at the window. While standing in front of a fan can cool you down quickly, a better way to cool the whole room is to point it away from you and out the window. While this might seem counterintuitive, doing so will push the hot air out, instead of circulating it around your room.
  • Hydrate before bedtime. Summer heat can be the enemy of a good night’s sleep. And all that tossing and turning under hot sheets can leave you sweating and dehydrated. Fortunately, drinking a glass of water right before bed can be enough to keep you cool and hydrated all night long.
  • Wrap a cold washcloth around your neck or wrist. Increase the effectiveness of a cold washcloth or ice pack by wrapping it around your neck or wrist. These “pulse points” are where blood vessels are closest to the skin’s surface, and a cold touch near them can cool off blood and body temperature fast.
  • Use refrigerators or freezers strategically. Your fridge and freezer aren’t just for keeping food fresh. You can also use them to cool off bed sheets, pillow cases or shirts during summer months. Just slide them into a plastic bag for sanitation before placing them in there.
  • Watch how much you eat. When you eat large meals, your metabolism kicks into high gear, which can make you hot. Eat several smaller meals throughout the day instead. For bonus points, try including hot peppers or spices. Thanks to a chemical called capsaicin, they’ll make you sweat, which cools you down, without raising body temperature.



Photo credit: Shaylor

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