Summer time can be fun and summer time heat can wear you down if you are not careful. Some people are more sensitive than others when it comes to extreme temperatures. Here are some simple ways to keep your body cooler when the nature turns up the heat.
Make a makeshift air conditioner.
If it’s hot but not humid, place a shallow bowl of ice in front of a fan and enjoy the breeze. As the ice melts, then evaporates, it will cool you off.
Also, it is recommended that you check your filter for your central air conditioning about once a month in heavy use months. If you have central air-conditioning, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system’s efficiency by as much as 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Seal any cracks between a window unit and the frame with peelable caulking or a sealant strip. These steps help ensure good airflow and keep the coils cleaner, which means more efficient and more effective cooling. Need help we can recommend an excellent heating and air professional for you.
Close It Down
Close the damper. If you are running any kind of air conditioner, shut your fireplace damper. An open damper “pulls hot air into your house instead of sucking it out,” says Tommy Spoto, a master chimney sweep at Chimney Chap, in Copiague, New York. “This is called flow reversal.”
Close everything else, too.
Sometimes you can get away with just running the fan to circulate air. However, whether the air conditioner is on or off, keep windows and doors shut if the temperature outside is 78 degrees Fahrenheit or above (most people start to sweat at 78). Whenever the outside air is hotter than the inside air, opening a window invites heat to creep in.
Wear footwear that breathes.
Flip flops are great for some activities, but more strenuous activities require arch support, durability, and comfort. Sport sneakers are great, but be sure you have worn them beforehand, so they won’t rub your feet and give you blisters. Remember to wear socks, preferably ones that wick away moisture to help keep you cool and comfortable. If you’re going to the beach or pool, wear water shoes to protect your feet from the heat of beach sand and from sharp items in the water. For urban wear, sandals and flip flops are generally ideal for keeping your feet cool.
• Be careful if you decide to go barefoot. Many artificial pavements become unbearably hot during warm weather and can scald your feet. Also watch out for sharp objects and doggy-do when going barefoot in places such as parks and the beach. A good alternative are the toed shoes.
Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing will help to keep you cooler, even better if it is light in color as this will reflect the heat and sunlight better. Shorts and short sleeved shirts are good choices, although a lightweight long sleeved shirt and pants are preferable if you’re hiking or working outdoors for any length of time, as this provides more protection against the UV rays. Cotton clothing tends to keep you cool; be careful of synthetics as they can increase heat, although some synthetic clothes are specifically made to reduce heat (check the labels).
• Don’t forget your head. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, as this helps to keep you cooler by providing shade. However, in extreme heat, such as the desert Southwest, a hat will retain heat. Try using a bandanna folded into a triangle and wrapped over your head as is often seen on bikers – this actually wicks sweat away from your head, spreads it over a large area where it evaporates and reduces your scalp temperature. And always add sunglasses.
• Consider wearing less makeup. Too much makeup can impede sweating and make you feel hotter, especially around your facial area. A little matte powder for oil control may be suitable. For makeup and cosmetics that you do wear, consider storing them in the refrigerator. They’ll be refreshingly cool when applied to your face, body and feet straight from the fridge.
• Wear less accessories during hotter weather. Metallic accessories can heat up considerably and less is always best when it comes to keeping cool.
• If you’re worried about body odor, you might want to skip camisoles and tank tops, as these can make body odor more noticeable.
• If you have long hair, wear it up and off your face and body. If you have short hair, consider keeping it very short to minimize the insulating effects of hair.
Observe Key Notes
Let your computer take a nap.
Set it to go into low-power “sleep” mode if you are away from it for more than 10 minutes and it will give off less heat. When you’re finished for the day, shut the machine down completely. Despite what some IT guy may have told you years ago, properly shutting down and restarting modern-day computers won’t put undue strain on the hardware. And forget about working with a computer on your lap―it’s too darn hot. “That’s why they changed the name from laptop to notebook,” says Justin M. Solomon, a 19-year-old undergraduate at Stanford University who took first place in computer science at the 2005 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Need a great computer person I recommend Gaddy at “My Computer Store” in Lake Forest. Tell him I said to give you the special.
Wick while you work.
To keep yourself cooler when computing, plug a Kensington FlyFan ($40, amazon.com) into a USB port on your machine. The fan’s flexible neck lets you direct the breeze to your sweaty brow.
Water is essential for keeping you cool during hot weather. Water keeps your body cool and should be drunk even if you don’t feel thirsty. It’s okay to also drink commercial waters or Alkaline water and even energy drinks such as Endura but they’re usually not necessary unless you’re deliberately replenishing lost vitamins/electrolytes or energy following a sporting activity. Purchase a durable water bottle or water pack that you can tote everywhere and refill at any safe filtered water source. The best way to check your hydration level is to measure your urination frequency and color – if you haven’t gone in a while, you need to drink more water and if the color is dark, you need more water, although this is only a guide.
• Freeze a bottle of water to carry around with you. It’ll be solid when you leave the house but the heat will start melting it from the moment you take it out of the freezer and you’ll benefit from the continuously chilled slowly thawing water. Wrap in toweling or similar to prevent water condensation affecting other items in your bag.
• Stay away from sugary drinks such as sodas and do not drink alcoholic drinks. Minimize caffeinated drinks, such as tea and coffee because these tend to increase dehydration.
• As well as drinking water, use it to spritz yourself cool too. Fill a spray bottle with pure water and place in the refrigerator at home or work. When you feel too hot, spray a fine mist of the cooled water over face and body to help cool you down quickly. Refill as needed and keep refrigerated.
Eat to stay cool.
Food can keep you cool provided you make the right choices. Prefer salads, fresh raw food, vegetables and fruit. Avoid eating meat and protein-heavy foods during the heat of the day because these can increase metabolic heat production, which can add to loss of water.
• Avoid eating junk food––it lacks healthy nutrients, is often hot and greasy and won’t give you the energy needed to cope with the heat. If you must eat junk food, keep it for the cooler hours of the day or year.
• Find foods that don’t need cooking, so that you don’t have to turn on the stove. This might be a good time to experiment with some raw or paleo food choices––check out recipes online, in a good book or from your local library or stop by the office we have a wonderful resource library.
• Cold soups are great in warm weather. If you haven’t tried them yet, hot weather is the excuse you need!
Take Some Dry Measures
Give the clothes dryer a break, too.
Hang a clothesline and let your towels and sheets flap in the breeze. “They smell wonderful,” says Cynthia.
Make a “cold compress.” Fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the sock with twine, and freeze it for two hours before bedtime. Then slide it between the sheets. Rice retains cold for a long period because it’s dense and starchy, says Jim Hill, Ph.D., an associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California at Davis.
Make a game out of staying cool.
Kids know how much fun it can be to find playful ways to stay cool and there are some really enjoyable ways to stay cool when it’s hot, whatever your age. Here are just a few suggestions to take all the seriousness out of staying cool:
• Turn on the sprinklers, gather your friends and run through them for a time.
• Increase the fun by making water balloons and throwing these at each other. The aim is to get hit in order to cool down, so remind everyone to stay in the spirit of cooling down instead of trying to dodge them.
• Have a pool party. Cover the pool with a shade cover if it doesn’t already have one and spend time partying by––and preferably in––the pool. Avoid alcohol though––have plenty of cool and refreshing chilled mocktails and other cold non-alcoholic choices for everyone to enjoy. No pool? Get a kiddy pool and fill it up and paddle in it under shade.
• Have an afternoon of making and eating your own frozen treats, including ice cream, popsicles, slushies, frozen fruit, etc. Invite friends around to make it a party event.
• Make use of commercial venues that provide cold entertainment. The cinema is often freezing, so it’s a good choice. Or visit a water park or ice skating rink. You could even devise a game with friends to find the coldest buildings in your city or town that permit public access. Is it your library or your local ice cream parlor that’s coldest inside?
May you have a cooler and more enjoyable summer.
Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero
EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO