Tuesday, May 29, 2012

7 Cool Ways to Beat the Heat

Get your shorts on folks! It’s a soupy 89 degrees in the concrete jungle today, and boy does it feel hot! I always like to brag about how I can handle the heat after spending 6 years in the desert in Tucson, AZ. However, it’s pretty easy to handle 115 degrees when you’re either in an over air-conditioned building, or floating on a raft in a pool with a cool beverage in your hand. This 80% humidity business is really throwing me for a loop! I’m finding that I need to get a little more creative to stay cool in the city.
Here’s a few things that I’m doing, and hopefully you’ll find some of these tips useful no matter where in the world you spend your hot months.

1. First and foremost – drink lots of water!
I, of course, learned this lesson the hard way roughing it out in the desert. When I moved to NYC, I was honestly very surprised by how much less water people are drinking, and how much less I started drinking myself. But seriously folks, let’s just stay hydrated! Also, throw in some beverages with electrolytes every now and then, and eat some salty snacks (healthy ones!) that will help you retain some of that water you’re drinking.

2. Get efficient with your at home cooling methods.
I’m in a new apartment in Brooklyn, and instead of a window I just have a skylight in my bedroom. Crazy I know! Where am I supposed to put the window box air conditioner?
This past weekend I broke down and bought a standing fan that’s energy efficient, and it does the trick! If you are lucky and have A/C, keep that thermostat at 78! Here are some more tips and tricks about staying cool in your home.

3. Turn you lights off when you don’t need them!
Living in a relatively small apartment, you quickly realize that your lights generate a surprising amount of heat. Here’s a quick fix – turn those suckers off when you don’t need them or when you leave the room! This will keep you cooler, and happier when you receive your electric bill.

4. Treat yourself to some cooling treats!
I love watermelon. If there was a watermelon contest I could enter, I know I’d be pretty stiff competition. If you enjoy watermelon half as much as I do, slice one up and enjoy, and you’ll be hydrating yourself at the same time.
Spice things up! Eating spicy foods causes your body to perspire, which is its natural way of cooling itself. So pass that spicy salsa!
Break out the mint! Throw some in a glass of iced water with some slices of cucumber, or make a delicious mojito. The mint, which has a natural cooling effect, will counteract the warming effects of the alcohol. 
Check out this site for more great ideas on summer treats!

5. Protect yourself!
Staying cool in the summer also means looking cool, which to me means taking the necessary precautions to protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays. I have pretty fair skin and have known from an early age that I’m at high risk for skin cancer. I have formed a few good habits by treating sunscreen like lotion for my face and body in the morning. Just make it part of your routine, and you’re less likely to forget. Also, keep a travel size of sunscreen with you at all times, because you never know when you might be outside for an extended period of time.
Oh yes, and don’t forget your shades. Yes they do make you look fabulous, but they’re also performing an incredibly important function, so don’t forget them! Keep a cheap pair in your car or office, just in you’re caught without them.

6. Have fun outside!
This might just be me, but more than half of the time in the summer months, it feels much better outside in the fresh air than inside. Especially in the early mornings and evenings. If you’ve got your sun protection on, go for a jog, have a picnic in the park, a day at the beach, or an evening stroll. I hate being cooped up all winter, so in the summer I like to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!

7. Go see a movie!
I know this completely contradicts my previous tip but…movie theatres are freezing! I always have to bring a sweater when I catch a flick! What better way to beat the heat than by enjoying a summer blockbuster in an oversized icebox? Save some money and catch a matinee – they’re during the warmest part of the day anyway, so might as well!

Stay cool out there, and enjoy the summer!!!

Have some tips for me? Please share, I’d love to hear them!

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