Riding the Heat Wave: Tips to Beat the Heat This Summer
Summer has officially arrived! It’s time for hosting barbecues, tanning by the pool, and having picnics in the park. But along with the sparkling sun comes heat rays that can make relaxing sweaty and uncomfortable, whether you’re inside your home or spending time outdoors. Luckily, there are so many little ways to help you ride out the heat wave and truly enjoy the season, from staying hydrated to using appliances like portable air conditioners. Here are just a few tips to help you stay comfortable and content this summer.
Dive right in
There’s nothing like diving into cool, refreshing water to experience ultimate relief from the summer heat. Whether you have access to a pool, beach, or lake, swimming is an ideal form of cooling down when the temperature really begins to rise. Work off some energy by doing laps or just laze about on a float in the relaxing waves.
That leather motorcycle jacket might look rad, but it isn’t doing you any favors in the summer sun. Steer clear of skintight wear and switch out your wardrobe for cooler, looser items. Lighter materials like cotton are much more forgiving in the scorching heat.
Enjoy some evaporative air cooling
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside, you can’t beat the refreshing breeze from an evaporative air cooler. These appliances can be used indoors or outdoors and are especially effective in hot, arid climates (think: midwestern US). Unlike misting fans, they won’t leave you damp, but they will cool you down. If you’re hosting a barbecue or outdoor event, an air cooler is a great solution to keep guests happy.
Aloe vera really is a miracle plant. If you apply aloe vera gel (either straight from the inside of a fresh plant or prepackaged) to your skin, you can actually lower your body temperature. This is a great way to cool and calm your skin after extended time spent in the sun. You can also use aloe vera as a face mask, as an eye mask, as a drink...the possibilities are truly endless!
Open your windows (at the right time)
You might be tempted to let a cool breeze run through your home during the day, but oftentimes, opening the windows in your room can heat you up rather than cool you down. If your house is well-insulated, you should usually opt to keep windows closed during the warmest parts of the day. Sure, letting a little gust of wind in the room might feel nice momentarily, but you’re actually letting hotter air inside your home. Instead, open windows in the early mornings or in the evenings when it’s cooler outside.
Get your ears lowered
Getting a new haircut isn’t just a way to revamp your look—it's also a great way to cool down. Longer hair acts as insulation, preventing air from circulating around your head. Going short for the season will allow you to feel a nice, cool breeze on your neck. If you don’t want to get a new chop, make sure you always have a ponytail holder around your wrist so you can use it when all that hair starts to hold you down.
Exercise with ease
It can be dangerous to overextend yourself when exercising in the heat. One way to avoid potential heat illness is to steer clear of working out outside during the hottest parts of the day (typically 10am to 3pm in the summer). If possible, get that gym membership and exercise indoors, or stay fit at home if you have appropriate equipment. Don’t forget that swimming is a great way to stay in shape, too!
Switch out your bed sheets
It’s no fun tossing and turning in a sweaty bed. If you’ve been wrapped up in that comfy duvet since winter, it’s time to store it away and bring out lighter sheets. Consider materials such as linen, percale, cotton, and eucalyptus, all of which will help you dream the night away in cool comfort.
Cool down your cosmetics
Some cosmetics and lotions require refrigeration, but even if yours don’t, pop them in the fridge for a little while and see just how much more refreshing they feel. Moisturizing just got even more rejuvenating.
Plug in your portable air conditioner
Using a portable air conditioner is a great cooling option if you want to save money cooling just the room you’re using instead of wasting energy cooling the whole house at once. These units come in a variety of models, some of which feature ultra-quiet fan speeds, can connect to Wi-Fi, and include a heating function for colder months. These handy units can be a real lifesaver in the dead heat of summer.
Adjust those ceiling fans
Did you know that the direction your ceiling fan spins can actually affect how cool your room feels? In the summer, you should adjust your ceiling fans so they run counterclockwise. This will help to circulate cool air downward, allowing you to feel a gentle breeze. In the winter, reverse the direction again so they run clockwise at a low speed, pushing warm air downward instead.
Light ‘em up
Traditional incandescent bulbs produce heat and can make your room hotter, albeit minimally. To save on electricity bills and save you from that slight temperature uptick, switch to fluorescent or LED lightbulbs.
As it gets warmer outside, it gets even more important to stay hydrated and ward off the risk of heat illnesses like heat exhaustion or heat stroke. No matter where you go, always make sure you have a water bottle handy. Not a big fan of drinking plain water? No problem! Try carrying around on-the-go tea or lemonade packets so you can add some flavor to your water, or switch it up entirely with a sports drink or yummy fruit smoothie. Remember, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to take a sip – if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!
Whether you’re sweating away at your work desk or taking a walk in the park, one quick fix for when the heat really starts getting to you is a misting bottle. Simply take a small spray bottle and fill it with water (the colder, the better!), adding in a few drops of essential oils. You’ll get immediate relief from a few cool spritzes, plus a refreshing calm from the lavender or other drops you’ve put in.
It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity! If you live in a humid climate, you know how unpleasant it is to be around excess mugginess. To help remove that extra moisture from the air around you, try using a dehumidifier. There’s nothing quite like that swampy feeling to make heat even worse, so make sure you nip it in the bud with one of these useful units.
Now that you have some tips in your back pocket, you’re all set to take on the heat wave this summer. Surf's up!
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