With record temperatures hitting the American Southwest this week -- spiking to over 113° in Phoenix -- it's more important than ever to stay cool. Nobody wants their fantastic day on the beach interrupted by a bout of heat exhaustion. Believe or not, it's entirely possible to have a fun day outside in the midst of roasting temperatures. These ten time-tested tips will help you feel chill while everyone else is burning up.
1. Stay Hydrated
Everyone knows this, but few follow through. If possible, keep a water bottle handy at all times. If you don't like the taste of water, try infusing it with your favorite fruit. Or, if necessary, hydrate with other drinks, even if they have added sugar. Lassi or coconut water are great options and it's better to drink them than nothing at all! But do try to avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these will only make you thirstier.
2. Drink Some Tea
No, not hot tea, silly. Chrysanthemum iced tea, a favorite in much of East Asia, both hydrates effectively and lowers overall body temperature. Also, note that applying chrysanthemum petals to skin soothes heat rashes, much like aloe vera.
3. Throw On Eye and Head Protection
The Wafar 15 is both fashionable and practical!
Did you know that eyelids can get sunburned? Sunglasses are essential in protecting your eyes and lids from UV damage. Lucky for you, Tree Hut offers engraved wood sunglasses with UV protection to shield your delicate eyes from the sun.
Wearing a hat is equally as important. You might think that hats warm up your head and make you sweat profusely (which actually effectively combats heat; see #9), but hats help you stay cool.
4. Attach a Portable Fan to Your Phone
We're all addicted to technology, so why not attach a fan to something you carry all the time? It'll keep both you and your phone's precious internal hardware cool in the baking sun.
5. Open Those Windows at Night
Opening windows and letting hot air invade your house may seem contrary to keeping cool. However, the trick is open your windows at night, when temperatures dip below the comfort of air conditioning. The goal is to wake up to a chilly house. As the day warms up, your house will still remain cool and you might just save some moolah on air conditioning.
6. Sleep Cool
It's not enough to be act live, breathe, and act cool. You gotta sleep cool to keep cool during the roasting heat. The best way is to chill your bed by putting your sheets and pillowcases (in plastic bags) in the freezer for a few hours. If you don't have any room in your freezer, try sticking ice packs underneath the sheets and on top of the mattress when you go to bed.
7. Eat Spicy Food
What do Indian, Ethiopian, and Mexican cuisine have all in common? They all incorporate spicy food (...ghost peppers, anyone?) and are cooked in some of the hottest locations in the world! Eating spicy food raises your body temperature to match the outside temperature. Via a phenomenon called "gustatory facial sweating", your blood circulation increases, you start sweating, and you cool off through the sweat evaporating. The body works in funny ways.
8. Go Green
Have you ever noticed how relaxing it is to lay down on a patch of grass in the shade? Plants are Mother Nature's gift to us to block the sun and to work as a natural (and free!) air conditioner. If outside, look for a tree canopy to relax under.
9. Keep Sweating
Don't be embarrassed by your pit stains! Sweating is how humans evolved to cope with heat in the first place. To embrace your evolutionary past and stay refreshed, allow sweat to evaporate from your skin instead of wiping it off.
10. Wear light and loose clothes
It's like, the law of physics. Dark colored clothing simply absorbs more heat, making you feel like a roasting ball of fire. Wear light colored fabrics that are breathable, like linen and cotton.
11. Move to San Francisco
It may be sunny here in Northern California, but it's definitely not roasting. Moving to San Francisco is a surefire way to avoid the summer heat!
Do you love or hate the summer heat? Comment below!
You can't go wrong with ice cream on a hot sunny day. Check out our blog post on Weird Ice Cream from Around the World.