For some parts of the country, summer is already here bringing with it sweltering hot days, heavy humidity, and dry spells. Though the invention of air conditioning has given us a way to deal with stretches of extreme heat, there are also natural methods we can use to keep our cool that don’t require a lot of energy use.
Wear loose clothing, mostly cotton. This may seem like common sense, but it’s good to remind yourself that loose clothing allows more air to flow past the skin. This will carry away the heat your body generates and let cooler air replace it. Tight clothes trap the heat against your skin which will only make you feel hotter.
To maximize the benefits of wearing loose clothing, opt for breathable materials such as cotton or linen that allow for air to pass through the fabric itself, providing even more airflow.
Apply cold packs strategically. The human body regulates its temperature with the hypothalamus, a small peanut-shaped part of the brain. This area reacts to several factors to determine whether to turn your body’s internal temperature up or down.
One of these factors is how hot or cold the skin is; however, you can manipulate the hypothalamus by choosing to cool the most influential points on your skin—the pulse points.
If you want to lower your body temperature, put an ice pack or cool washcloth on easy to reach pulse points such as the insides of your wrists, your temples, or your neck. This will indicate to your hypothalamus that you are cold, which will prompt it to lower your overall body temperature.
Count your steps. If it’s extremely hot outside, it’s best to skip your workout. Exercise will heat your body up and make you sweat, which could lead to dehydration. Instead, kick back, relax, and take a rest day.
Hydrate. Sweating is a function that our bodies employ to regulate body temperatures. Having moist skin will keep us cool, but we have to be hydrated to facilitate this process.
Plus, when we are adequately hydrated, our blood flow is more easily regulated, which also helps to determine our skin temperature.
During hot days, drink water throughout the day, ideally before you’re even thirsty.