As temperatures climb, it’s easy to get dragged down by the sweltering air around us. Not only do we sweat more in the summertime, but most people spend months feeling uncomfortable in elevated temperatures. Luckily there are a few easy, natural ways to keep cooler throughout the summer months, without racking up an extreme air conditioning bill.
1. Eat cool food
Fresh fruits and vegetables, cold meats and salads should be your go-to foods on hot days. Other cooling foods to eat, according to Ayurveda, include coconut, cantaloupe and watermelon, cucumber, ghee, organic yogurt, cilantro, parsley and alfalfa sprouts. Avoid using your oven when you cook at home and instead use your outdoor grill to keep temperatures down inside. Limit your use of spicy foods like curries and peppery dishes, too — they can cause you to sweat and make you hotter. Switch to iced coffee and iced tea too, if you just can’t do without these pick-me-ups.
2. Stay hydrated
As temperatures climb, you’ll be sweating more, which means you need to increase your intake of water. Carry a reusable water bottle with you to help combat dehydration so you can keep sweating — as unpleasant as that sounds. Sweat is how the body cools itself and keeps things working properly, after all. Try adding lemon slices, berries or some fresh mint if water isn’t your favorite beverage.
3. Modify your exercise routine
If you run or walk outside, do so in the morning hours or the early evening. Switch from your hot yoga class to one held in a more comfortable studio environment or take up swimming for the season. Be sure to take breaks and stay hydrated in the warmer temperatures to avoid dangerous heat exposure. And don’t forget sunscreen if you’ll be outside!
4. Run errands earlier (or later) in the day
Modify your schedule so you can run to the grocery store, the dry cleaners and the bank in the morning before the sun is at its height, or in the evening as the sun is going down. These are the cooler parts of the day, and you’ll be able to get everything done that you need to, without exhausting yourself in the heat.
5. Take a cold shower
A quick rinse of cold water in the shower can help you rest easier at night. Before bed, hop into a cold shower for a minute or so and rinse off from the neck down for scientifically-backed stress relief. A cold shower can also improve your immunity and boost circulation, reducing inflammationand helping to keep you safe from summer colds.
6. Use essential oils to cool down
Essential oils like peppermint and spearmint contain menthol, which results in a cooling sensation when applied to the skin. Mix one with a light carrier oil like jojoba or almond oil to avoid skin irritation. If you prefer to diffuse your oils, try adding peppermint and orange oil to your diffuser for a peppy scent that will lift your mood.
7. Wear natural materials
While it’s tempting to wear no-fuss workout attire in the hotter months, loose cotton clothing is the coolest way to dress when temperatures are up. It’s breathable so you’ll sweat less, and you’ll be more comfortable when you do sweat — moisture can escape from under cotton clothing much easier than synthetic fabrics.
The key to surviving the summer heat lies greatly in a shift of your thinking. Modify your routine, be willing to be flexible in your schedule and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to staying cool and relaxed in the heat.