Does taking a step outside these days make you feel like you might collapse of heat exhaustion? We’ve already given you some tips about lowering your energy bill in the hot summer months, but what about keeping you cool on those unbearably hot days outdoors?
Keeping cool is not only a matter of comfort — it’s necessary for your health, too. When your body overheats, a variety of serious health complications can occur, including heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat stroke. Before you go racing for the thermostat, crank up the air conditioning in your car, or stand in front of the open fridge, consider these natural and energy-efficient ways to beat the heat.
- Loose, light colored clothing made of lightweight materials, such as cotton. Beware that some synthetic fabrics can actually retain heat!
- Most of your body heat escapes through your head and your feet, so avoid caps, tight shoes, and sneakers that do not breathe. Flip-flops, sneakers with breathable mesh, sandals, light bandanas and sunhats are great summertime alternatives.
- Ladies – consider wearing less makeup or switch to powdered makeup instead of liquid foundation, as heavy layers of makeup don’t allow your skin to easily breathe.
- Drinking water is essential when the weather heats up! Pick up a reusable water bottle and invest in a water filter to save on the costs and wastefulness of plastic water bottles.
- Certain foods replenish nutrients and can actually help you stay cool when the weather is hot. Stick to light summer foods like fresh fruit, veggies and salads. Eating small meals, more often, helps as well. Keep in mind that protein-rich foods can actually increase metabolic heat.
- If you’re pregnant, it’s even more important to stay hydrated: pregnancy increases your body fluid by 50%, so you need to replenish that fluid. Dehydration can affect circulation to your organs and cause trauma to the baby.
To Work Out:
- If you’re accustomed to exercising outside, try to avoid the hours when the sun is at its hottest, generally 10AM-4PM. Try switching your outdoor exercises to early morning or evening, if possible.
- Accustomed to running or walking but just can’t bear the heat or humidity of summertime? Consider a switch to swimming for your cardio. And if you’re swimming at home, turn off the heater for your home’s swimming pool (if you’ve got one)! Not only will the sun naturally warm your pool, but you’ll also save on energy costs.
These tips to help keep your mind and body healthy, comfortable and cool also provide some good ways to help reduce dependence on energy exhausting cooling methods.
So grab those flip-flops, water bottles and get ready to chill out!