It’s walk outside and sweat season here in Tennessee and other parts of the world – the pavement is literally melting in parts of Europe. Staying locked indoors isn’t an option for most of us, so we need to be able to keep our cool when the mercury is near 100.
Eat for the Heat
Get creative with meals that don’t require the stove, like salads, fresh fruits, and sandwiches. Or, make a large batch of something that doesn’t require reheating, like pasta salad, so you only have to cook once.
Also, keep portion sizes small. Digestion uses a lot of energy, and the fuller you are, the more heat is produced in the process. Foods with a lot of sugar and stimulants, like caffeine and alcohol, also impact temperature regulation.
Eat foods with a high water content – cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, and celery.
Add peppermint to your iced tea – menthol produces a cooling effect.
Get Plenty of Water – In and On the Body
Drink water before you’re thirsty to help avoid heat stress.
Focus on pulse points – wrists, neck, the inside of your elbows and knees, and the tops of your feet. A cold, wet towel or bandana on these areas, or running them under cold water, helps lower body temperature.
Keep a water bottle nearby for a spritz. You can even add cucumber juice or aloe vera juice to the water, which each have cooling properties.
Know the Signs of Heat Illness
Dizziness, weakness, nausea, pale skin, and a rapid pulse can indicate heat illness. If someone with these symptoms goes from heavy sweating to dry skin, that could indicate an escalation from heat exhaustion to heat stroke.
Improve Heating and Cooling Measures
Caulk any gaps around doors and windows
Keep the blinds closed, especially at mid-day
Run ceiling fans counter clockwise to pull the cooler air up from the floor and down toward you
Put a bowl of ice in front of standing fans
Grab Some Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel has naturally cooling properties, and can help lower the body’s temperature when applied to the skin, especially on pulse points.