It seemed like summer would never get here! We all suffered through the cold winter nights, the cold rainy spring, and swore we would never ever complain about the heat again. Well – it is a little warmer than expected, but we dare not complain - so now what?
You don’t have to be uncomfortable in the summer heat. There are lots of ways you can keep cool this summer. Here are my top ten tips for keeping your cool:
Drink lots of friendly fluids. Water is your best friend and you want to be sure to stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you and aim for sixty to eighty percent of your body weight in ounces of fluids. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, aim for sixty to eighty ounces of water each day. The quality of what you drink is very important. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages. If you don’t care for plain water, add some fruit slices, or a drop of your favorite certified pure therapeutic grade essential oil. I love a drop or two of lime in a cold glass of water on a hot day. Fresh watermelon juice and cool coconut water are also great this time of year. Add a drop of peppermint for an extra cooling effect.
Eat heat healthy foods. Keep the meals small and have a snack if you get hungry. Avoid heavy dishes and enjoy the seasonal fruits and vegetables instead. Stay away from sugar laden treats as they tend to make you feel heavy and weighted down. If you want a sweet treat, frozen melon cubes, grapes, and berries are so refreshing on a hot day.
Increase your vitamin C intake. Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Respiratory, Environmental, and Exercise Physiology showed that as little as 250 extra milligrams of vitamin C a day keeps your body temperature from rising during heat exposure. Cantaloupe, strawberries, red bell peppers, and broccoli are all great sources of vitamin C in the summer.
Wear light, loose, natural fabrics instead of synthetics. Cotton and gauze materials let the air flow and help keep you cool. Consider layers if you’re unsure about the high temperature so you can always be comfortable. Consider some of the newer wicking materials as well, if you tend to perspire. Wear a sun hat or cap to keep the heat off your head.
Get wet! A nice cool swim is always great, but if that doesn’t fit your schedule, try running your wrists under some cold water for ten seconds or apply a cool wet towel to the back of your neck. If you have the time, a cool foot soak or a quick shower can also be very refreshing. Add a little peppermint to your water or in a spray bottle for some extra refreshment.
Consider changing your scent. Did you know that the perfume or cologne you wear can make a real difference in how the heat affects you? Those familiar with Ayurveda know that Sandalwood can be used to lower your body temperature. It’s great for your skin as well.
Adjust your workout schedule. Summer is perfect for outdoor sports, but plan to do them early in the morning or later in the day or early evening. Try to avoid being in the sun between ten in the morning and three in the afternoon.
Try some yoga breathing and meditation. Many people report feeling cooler, even chilled, after meditation. Sitali breath, also known as a yogic cooling breath, will lower your inside temperature as well as help you relax. To practice Sitali breath, sit in a comfortable position, stick out your tongue and roll the edges as if you were wrapping them around a straw. (Don’t worry if you can’t roll your tongue, it will still work.) Slowly inhale through your mouth, then even slower, exhale through your mouth. Repeat this up to five minutes and you may be surprised how much cooler and relaxed you feel.
Find a cool spot to get out of the heat. If you don’t have air conditioning, go to the library or your favorite indoor shopping area. Cool off indoors. Take in a matinee when prices are lower and the sun is at its peak.
Finally, find a tree to sit under or a nice shady spot with a hammock. A hammock under a tree is even better. The shade from trees is actually cooler than the shade from buildings thanks to transpiration. The tree keeps itself cool by circulating water inside and releasing the moisture into the atmosphere. As you lounge in the shade, think about March and how cold and miserable it was, take a deep breath, and dream of all the ways you are going to enjoy your summer!
For more tips on keeping your cool, contact me at [email protected]