Summers are getting hotter and staying cool can be a challenge. We wrote a list of tips to help you stay cool this summer, whether you’re staying in the shade inside or you’re enjoying the outdoors.
12 Ways to Stay Cool in the Summer
It’s important to stay cool in the summer. Not only are heat waves uncomfortable, but extreme heat can even be hazardous to your health. If you’re working outside, playing sports, or spending long hours in the sun, it’s especially important to remember to keep these tips in mind, and be aware of risks of heat stroke.
1. Ice Your Drinks
This tip to stay cool in the summer may seem like a no-brainer, but cold water will bring your temperature down faster than lukewarm water. Use ice cubes in your water, mix soda and fruit with crushed ice to make a frozen smoothie, or keep a frozen water bottle handy in your freezer.
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2. Drink More Water
To stay cool, your body will sweat more in extreme temperatures. This puts you at greater risk of dehydration. To counteract this, it’s important to drink more water. This is a very important way to stay cool in the summer, but also keep yourself healthy. Keep filled water bottles handy, replace sugary drinks with water, and try to train your brain to drink more water.
3. Drink Less Alcohol
Drinking alcohol makes dehydration worse, and it will also worsen the symptoms of heat illness. If you’re in extreme temperatures, strongly consider forgoing alcohol and drinking water or a nonalcoholic beverage instead.
4. Stay in the Shade
At its most extreme, laying in the sun might feel as much as 15 degrees hotter than in the shade. One way to stay cool in the summer is simply to find a shady spot.
5. Get Out of the City
Asphalt, brick and concrete make heat worse, while vegetation creates shade and helps relieve extreme heat. Dense cities can be as much as 5 degrees hotter than areas with more vegetation and fewer building materials, which absorb heat. Vegetation cools areas through evapotranspiration, by dispersing heat, and creating shade. One of the ways to stay cool in the summer is to have an exit strategy from big cities when the temperatures really climb.
6. Ice Your Tub
If you’re really feeling the heat and you just can’t cool down, buy ice in bulk, fill your tub and hop in. Be careful not to stay in the tub too long, as the ice can damage your skin if it sits for a long period. Also, this is not a good strategy if you have a heart condition. Finally, be careful not to fall asleep in the tub, and don’t try this strategy if you’re home alone.
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7. Take Breaks
If you’re working outside or exerting yourself, don’t hesitate to take breaks. Bringing your heart rate down, relaxing in the shade and hydrating are all ways to help you stay cool in the summer, and also good ways to avoid heat illness.
Acclimating to heat slowly over a 7 to 14 days can help you avoid heat illness. Instead of jumping into hard work and exertion in extreme heat suddenly, acclimate slowly.
9. Use Time Wisely
Instead of working and doing difficult activities during the hottest parts of the day, consider adjusting your clock a bit to work early in the morning or later in the evening. The hottest part of the day is around 3:00 to 4:30 pm, so consider scheduling a rest during this time.
10. Map Out Cool Spots
A heat wave or a heat dome can arise quickly, and the effects can be deadly. If you’re overheating, you might not be thinking clearly, so it’s good to have a plan beforehand. Consider areas you might go to cool off, such as a nearby lake, river, pool, or an air conditioned space like a mall, movie theater, or even a friend’s home.
11. Plan for Black Outs
When heat waves arise, it’s even harder to keep indoor spaces comfortable. Every business’s and every person’s air conditioners are working harder and using more electricity, which can overwhelm the grid and cause black outs. Have a plan in place beforehand to adapt to these conditions. This might include relocating to a friend’s or relative’s home, going to one of the previously mentioned cool spots, or mapping out locations to find clean, cold water and ice.
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12. Be Aware of Heat Stroke
Knowing the symptoms of heat illness isn’t exactly a way to stay cool in the summer, but it can help you avoid serious illness or injuries. If you or someone near you is experiencing nausea, dizziness, fatigue, or heavy sweating, get some water and shade quickly. If someone is fainting or experiencing seizures, get water and shade immediately, and call emergency services.
Try these ways to stay cool in the summer and be watchful for symptoms of heat illness. Be especially watchful for those who have existing cardiovascular conditions or illnesses. With the right tips, plans and precautions, you can stay cool and stay safe as temperatures climb.