When temperatures soar into the mid 90’s and the humidity feels so thick you can cut it with a knife, staying cool can be a real challenge. Maybe it is my imagination, but I think it has become harder to stay cool and beat the heat after I turned 50 years old.
I’ve had heat problems in June, July and August in the past few years, so I try to be very aware of my body. Don’t be embarrassed to stop if you feel you are getting overheated! If you get the chills and it’s over 80 – definitely stop what you’re doing and call it a day. Some of the organized bike rides have served pickle juice among other things.
Beat the Heat
Here are my ten tips for regulating body temperature when it is seasonably (or unseasonably) hot! Some are fun, others more utilitarian.
1) Air conditioning – working out at a gym may be warm but if your club has air conditioning, it can be a great way to get a work out in without jeopardizing your core temperature.
2) Multi shower day – On especially hot days, I’ve been known to show 3 times a day. Early morning, mid day and again after dinner. Running the water cold and jumping in for just a few minutes can make all the difference. Getting the body temperature down really helps.
3) Hose – On a super hot day it’s more fun to wash the car or water plants with the hose. Something about the cold well water is more welcome when it’s really hot out. I find lots of things that need to be washed off outside with the garden hose. (I try not to water my garden in the heat of the day as I find that it grows better when the sun isn’t quite as bright. Morning or evening watering is better.)
4) Lake – being on the beach or in the water helps me to cool down. I am lucky to live near a lot of little (and big) lakes. Even if you don’t like to swim outside, just wading in and getting your arms wet, then back to the chair under the umbrella with a cool drink helps. Saturday for me was spent up at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania. Beautiful blue water, clear skies and a big lake breeze made for a cool day.
Last week was kayaking on a reservoir – not a big a breeze, but still cooler than sitting at home.
5) Hydrate – Drink water and watch the coffee and alcohol intake. When you are thirsty, you may want to double up on liquids but make sure you’re getting enough water. I like to put rubber bands on my water bottle to help count how many waters I have refilled that day.
6) Watch the electrolytes – I found that drinking some Gatorade helps, but I know a lot of folks don’t want to have the all the added sugar that Gatorade or Poweraid includes. I find that sometimes the sugar helps me feel better, actually.
I tend to sweat more than most people and really have to watch I don’t get my body chemistry messed up. If I am feeling weird during a super hot day, my go to is Gatorade. I often eat a banana too. I think about the potassium, sodium and magnesium that I’ve been sweating out. Smart Water with electrolytes might make more sense for many people. If it’s a problem for you, what do you use or do?
7) Keep the air moving – Turn on the fans. A rotating fan or a ceiling fan can really help. Sometimes if it is just blowing hot air it feels like it doesn’t help, but blowing air beats still air for me every time.
8) Icy treats – Freeze berries or grapes ahead of time. I like to add them to my water, or just chomp on them separately. They taste extra good when frozen! This is one of my favorite tips when I want to beat the heat.
9) Enjoy the early mornings or evening hours – get up early or wait until the sun is less strong. Often the hot days mean condensation in the morning and it’s the best time for me to weed the garden or even sit on the deck with a cup of coffee. I love early morning bike rides! I have several friends that prefer taking a run after dark. It doesn’t work for me, in that I head to bed around the time it gets dark in the summer, but either way – it’s best to exercise outside not in the heat of the summer day!
10) Basement chores – My basement is much cooler naturally and I try to take advantage of doing basement chores like sorting and clearing out stored items or catching up on laundry when the heat gets unbearable. Notice how this tip is number 10. It’s not as fun as the others!
Recently a warning was shared on the Becoming Elli group of using super cold drinks when you’re over heated. I hadn’t heard of passing out from having something really cold, but I know I can get “brain freeze” or “throat freeze” when I eat something really cold.
While my 10 tips on how to beat the heat might not work for you, (especially if your hose isn’t connected to well water, or your laundry room isn’t in a chilly basement), I’m sure you have a few tips of your own that you use to stay cool too. Please leave them in the comments below or send me an email at Chris@becomingelli.com.