Stay Cool This Summer
Summer is Here! Now that it’s actually here, how are you going to keep cool? Air conditioning is not the only answer to staying cool inside when it’s hot outside. There are dozens of ingenious ways to beat the heat.
Run cool water over the inside of your wrists.
If your house is painted a heat-absorbing dark shade, paint it a lighter shade to deflect the sun’s rays.
Drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day – more if you’re very active.
Don’t exercise in the heat of the day – do it before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m.
Set a bowl of ice water in front of a moving fan.
Wear loose, light-colored natural-fiber clothing.
Soak your feet in a plastic basin of cool (not cold) water.
Install a de-humidifier, high humidity contributes to heat discomfort.
Wear your hair up or short – most heat escapes from the top of your head.
Make your own portable evaporative cooler: wet down a white cotton towel and drape it around your neck.
Open windows only in the room you’re in and the one opposite. Position a fan to blow from one window to the other to create a cross-draft.
Shower or bathe regularly to keep your pores unclogged and efficiently sweating.
Plant shade trees around the outside of the house.
Instead of incandescent light bulbs, which give off a lot of heat, use compact florescents.
Eat a Popsicle.
Wear a wide-brimmed, breathable hat when in the sun.
Avoid dehydrating beverages – a cold beer or cola might sound good, but alcohol and caffeine will add to your discomfort.
Eat lightly. Stay away from heavy, fatty foods and excessive protein. Do eat salty foods to replace sodium lost from sweating.
Use your backyard grill to stay out of a hot kitchen while cooking.
Install ceiling fans in heavy-use rooms.
Keep a spray bottle of water handy and mist yourself while sitting in front of a fan.
Go shopping, to the library, movies or a restaurant and take advantage of someone else’s air conditioning.
Unplug computers, TVs and VCRs when not in use. Even turned off, these appliances generate a lot of heat.
Drugstores sell sore-muscle rubs like Ben-Gay, which, when rubbed on pulse points, make you feel cool.
Take a cool bath or shower – but not cold. Cold water constricts blood vessels. Afterward the blood vessels overcompensate by dilating and make you feel even hotter than before.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables – not only are they good for you, most of them have a high water content, which will supplement the water you drink and help to stave off dehydration.
Watch medications – some decrease perspiration and contribute to overheating.
Lie down with a refrigerated face mask for a few minutes to refresh your whole body.
Avoid the upper floors of your house – remember, heat rises.
Pets need special attention in high temperatures. Do not keep your pets outside for an extended period of time.
Young children are also especially prone to heat. Don’t let them play in direct sunlight without a hat and sunglasses. Use plenty of sunscreen on them.
Never, never, never leave anyone – animal or human – in a closed car, even with a window cracked. Temperatures can get up to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, enough to kill.
Look in on elderly neighbors. Help them to stay cool and comfortable and avoid heat stroke.