The heat can be unbearable. Especially if it’s combined with dry and windy conditions. It can make people moody, sick, allergy ridden, and overall lethargic. Since I am especially heat sensitive I decided to pass along some nice tips I’ve learned along the way. Of course I will start with the obvious basics because sometimes they are easy to forget.
#1. Drink plenty of water, but make sure to drink it throughout your day. You don’t want to drink up all at once and feel bloated. Feeling bloated and hot are a bad combination. Also, you can drink other things, but stay away from too much caffeine or alcoholic beverages. I know an iced latte or ice cold beer may sound nice on a hot day, but it’ll only make it worse.
#2. Cover them windows. If you don’t have central AC or even if you do, cover up windows that receive direct sunlight with heavy curtains, or you can improvise with a comforter. Yes, it can be that serious. It was so hot in the condo where I live yesterday that I felt the heat emanating from the walls.
#3. Take cold showers. It may feel like a shock to the body, but it is a good shock and it’ll keep you cooler when you come out. Jump in that cold shower and expect the exhilaration or pain and sing some James Brown, “I feel good!”. It makes it easier to put up with the discomfort. And don’t let the water go warm!! This is good for you in more ways than one.
#4. Think cool thoughts. Now this is something I never did but when I started, I felt a world of a difference. Chrissy said when she spent time in Mexico, building houses in the hundreds degree heat, she had no choice but to accept it and in that acceptance came a mental cooling. I adopted this and it worked. Instead of thinking and rethinking “Oh GAWD it’s soooo hot, will I just die in this heat?” I think, “It’s most likely hotter in Arizona (though yesterday it wasn’t) and I won’t die, and if I do, you gotta go sometime.” Also, be careful of the questions you ask yourself, rhetorical or not. We’ll talk more about that later.
#5 Put everything in the fridge. Sometimes we wish we could put ourselves in the fridge, but don’t do that! Think of it this way, anything that touches your body, if it can, should be put in the fridge. I recently heard that tip and put a lotion in the fridge. Wowie zowie, it does have a cooling effect and helps counteract the dry aspect. Put water bottles in the freezer for travel, so you’ll have cool water wherever you go. And put water in the fridge for drinking at home if you don’t already. We usually drink room temperature water, but sticking some in the fridge is a good idea. Make it fancy with some lemon, cucumber and mint.
#6 Surround yourself with fans. We have one of those nifty portable air conditioners. It is pretty amazing, the cool air that blasts from it, but when it is not necessary or doesn’t make sense we don’t use it. (It’s hard to move around). Instead, surround yourself with fans from all angles and you will feel cool. Also special.
#7 Wear loose fitting and light clothing. Leave the gothic layers at home today and wear a nice sun-reflective pastel. Make sure your clothes are not super tight and that the fabric is breathable. Find one of those little motorized fans with a mister and carry that with you.
#8 Save heavy exercise for the cooler hours.Don’t overexert yourself.
Hot weather + dehydration + overexertion = bad news bears (hospitalization).
You don’t have to be a mathematician to calculate that. Remember when Martin collapsed in the street because he was training too heavily, wearing all kinds of layers and running a single-man marathon in hot hot weather? Don’t do that. Just take into consideration the heat, and plan your workout around it.
#9 Look out for the elderly, children and animals. These populations are most sensitive to heat. If you have an elderly neighbor, check in on them and make sure they are staying cool. Never leave the elderly, kids or animals in a hot car. The temperature can rise to deadly levels faster than you can pick out that box of cereal.
It Shall Pass
Being fully hydrated, sipping on a cold beverage after a quick and cool shower with nicely chilled lotion on your body, with total acceptance of the heat is an excellent way to deal with the waves to come this summer. Hopefully they are short and sparse. Add more tips to the comments below to help save your fellow human some heat-ache! Yes, I just made that word up.
Other fun readings!