People living in the tropics are familiar with the heat. But, global warming has ensured that even people living in the sub-tropics and temperate regions of the world experience intolerable heat. The planet is getting warmer by the day and even winters are sometimes quite warm.
Dealing with the heat and staying cool can be quite challenging without an air conditioner, as excess heat makes you tired even if you’re just sitting down. But, simple, yet effective techniques can help you beat the heat and stay cool as a cucumber. Here are 12 easy ways to keep your body and your home cool during the warmer months.
1. Stay Hydrated
Staying well hydrated is crucial for the body. More so during the warmer months as you lose a lot of body fluids in the form of sweat. Sweat is the body’s natural method to stay cool. Drink lots of water and other fluids such as fresh fruit juices throughout the day. Generally, adults must drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day. Perspiration causes the maximum fluid loss in the body during summer.
2. Dry Laundry On Clothesline
Using a dryer to dry the washed clothes generates a lot of heat. Despite good ventilation, the dryer can increase the room temperature. Instead, hang the clothes on a clothesline outdoors and allow it to dry naturally. Line-drying can keep your home cooler and also save power in the process.
3. Consume Cold Foods
A tall cold glass of fresh juice or iced tea can help you beat the heat and stay hydrated. Add some ice to your drinks and eat cold foods such as ice cream. Consider eating cold foods like salads, sandwiches or chilled soups and avoid heating the foods. Also, avoid eating spicy foods as they can make you feel hotter.
4. Soak Your Feet
As blood flows close to the skin’s surface, soaking your feet in cool water helps your body to cool down. Fill a shallow container or tub with cool water and place your feet in them for a few minutes. Adding some Epsom salt, or eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil increases the therapeutic benefit.
5. Grow Houseplants
Growing indoor plants throughout your home is an effective approach to reduce the air temperature by almost 10 degrees. Indoor plants such as bamboo palm, English ivy, peace lily, spider plants, Ficus and Pothos are perfectly suited to be grown indoors and can drastically reduce the room temperature and act as natural air purifiers. Many indoor plants are also known to improve your sleep.
6. Adjust Your Ceiling Fans
Most ceilings fans have two modes. A small switch allows the fan blades to rotate in reverse direction and changes the air currents produced by the fan. As hot air rises up, a ceiling fan that blows air downward actually pushes warmer air back into the room. Flipping the switch to make the fan rotate in reverse makes it pull the hot air up and away from you and helps you stay cool.
7. Protect Your Head
Wearing a hat during summer is an effective way to avoid the heat and protect yourself from the harmful UV rays of the sun. It shields your face and prevents you from getting sunburnt. If you have thick or curly hair, use a hat made from natural materials like jute or straw to stay cool.
8. Turn Off Electronics
Electronic gadgets and appliances such as TVs, computers, and even light bulbs emit heat into the environment and increase indoor air temperatures. Switching off these appliances when they are not in use not only helps in keeping your home cooler but also lowers your power bills.
9. Portable Fans
Box fans are quite effective in cooling a room. Since they are portable, you carry them around and use them wherever you need as long as you have a power supply point. Additionally, drape a thin damp cloth over the box fan to improve cooling. The air passes through the damp cloth and reduces the temperature of the draft of air blowing towards you.
10. Take Cool Showers
A cool shower can have a wonderful effect on the body and help it cool down. Take a cool shower for at least five minutes and allow the water to flow over the insides of wrists, elbows, your nape, and underarms where blood vessels are just below the skin’s surface. This drastically reduces your core temperature and helps you stay cool.
11. Use Cold Packs
Keep some cold packs in the freezer and use them when you feel very hot. Wrap the cold packs in a towel and place them over pulse points in your neck, wrists, feet, or any area where blood flows close to the skin surface. It helps to decrease your core temperature by several degrees within minutes, providing instant cooling all over the body. Just mix one part rubbing alcohol with three parts water in a resealable zipper bag and place it in the freezer.
12. Wear Light Colored, Loose Cotton Clothes
Dark colors attract more heat and light colors reflect the heat away from you. So, wear loose fitting, light colored cotton clothes during summer. The fit of your clothing makes a huge difference in keeping your core body temperature cool. Loose-fitting clothes increase air circulation and release trapped heat keeping your body cool.
Cotton allows air to circulate freely around the body and helps you stay cool during the warm months. Synthetics like polyester or nylon trap heat and must be avoided during summer. Use cotton bed spreads and sheets to stay cool while you sleep.