Get Out There

Tricks to Staying Cool

A couple of years ago, we shared tips for staying cool without air conditioning. They’re great tips, and we stand by all of them. But, as the summer heat just won’t quit, we wanted to add more we have learned recently.

Staying cool in the summer is essential. Extreme heat is the deadliest form of crazy weather. It kills more than hurricanes and tornadoes combined. But they are preventable.

Dr. Stephanie Lareau, an emergency room physician, said, “Heat illnesses are totally avoidable with the right approach.”

Staying hydrated, taking cool showers, staying out of the sun and cooking only during the cool hours can all help. Last time we gave tips, places like movie theaters and many indoor spaces were still restricted because of the pandemic. Now, we recommend heading to your local library! It’s a free, air-conditioned space with plenty to do. There are books, WI-FI and summer events! Public pools are open again at full capacity, so you can escape the heat by taking a dip. Or you can check out Swimply, the website that lets you rent private pools for anywhere from $25 to $100 per hour for 10 to 100 guests! You can throw your own private pool party!

Eating cold foods and drinks can help you cool off, if only momentarily. And plenty of cold drinks will help you stave off dehydration. While some people recommend drinks like daiquiris to help you cool off on a summer’s day, alcohol boosts dehydration and may do more harm than good. If you would like a summer cocktail, it’s better to wait until after sunset when it’s less likely to compound the sun’s heat.

If you can close off the warmer areas of your home, it’s a good idea. And, even if you don’t have A/C, you can use extraction fans in your kitchen and bathroom to get rid of heat if you cook or take a warm shower. Even cutting out small sources of heat can make a big difference. Incandescent light bulbs throw off a lot more heat than LED bulbs. Swapping them can make a noticeable change in the room’s temperature and your electricity bill.

Finally, when you go out, use an umbrella. People talk about wearing short sleeves and shorts for more air circulation versus keeping your skin covered and protected from the sun. But you can have the best of both worlds by wearing short sleeves, shorts, sunscreen and using an umbrella. They aren’t just for rain! Using an umbrella as a parasol means you have portable shade that helps protect against heat and UV rays.

Summer heat will pass. But, in the meantime, staying cool and safe is essential!

Banner image: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen via Unsplash

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