Use these tips to keep yourself and your house cool this summer.
Be sure to drink plenty of water. Your body needs moisture to sweat in order to maintain homeostasis. You can boost your hydration by eating foods with a high water content. Try snacking on watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, grapefruit, and coconut water.
COOL DOWN YOUR BODY
Focus on cooling your body rather than cooling the house. Wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a clean kitchen towel. You can also wet a washcloth, wring it out, and stick it in the fridge. Applying the ice pack or washcloth to your pulse points will cool your body down fast! Apply to your:
- behind the knees
- elbow bends
EAT SOMETHING SPICY
This may not be for everyone, but eating spicy foods will increase your circulation, which will get you extra sweaty. Sweating may be unpleasant, but it is a very efficient way of cooling down!
KEEP OUT THE SUNLIGHT
According to the Department of Energy, about 76% of sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows turns into heat and raises the temperature of your home. East and west facing windows allow in the most heat, so focus efforts on these.
Close your curtains and blinds. Light or medium colored fabric is ideal for reflecting sunlight. If you have dark curtains, you can line them with light fabric. Old bed sheets or thrifted curtains/fabric would totally do the trick. Exterior shutters, shades, and awnings are even more effective. If you have those, definitely keep them shut.
EAT A POPSICLE
According to researchers in New Zealand, runners were able to extend their endurance by 10 minutes on a hot summer day if they ate a popsicle before exercising. You don’t have to go running any marathons, but eating a popsicle before running errands or doing household chores will make the experience much more pleasant.
GoodPop popsicles are oragnic, dairy and gluten free, and are made with fairly traded ingredients. They’re free from high fructose corn syrup, GMOs, refined sugar, sugar alcohols, and artifical dyes!
TURN OFF ELECTRONICS BEFORE BED
If you have a house or room full of tech, turn everything off before bed to keep the room cool. All of that soft electric buzzing generates heat. Unplug your TV, computer, wifi, etc.
HANG A WET SHEET BY AN OPEN WINDOW
If you don’t have AC or have a room that just gets so much hotter than the house, open up a window (or two to create a cross breeze) and hang a wet bed sheet in front of it. As the breeze rolls in, the wet sheet will cool the air flowing through it.
PUT YOUR HAIR UP FOR BED
If you have long hair, tying it up (with a scrunchie to prevent breakage) will expose your neck and temples, which will help keep you cool.
CLOSE THE DOORS
Keep the doors to unused or little used rooms closed to keep the cool air where the action is.
OPEN THE WINDOWS AT NIGHT
You can pre-cool your house or apartment by opening the windows at night (after 10 pm). It gets pretty cool overnight in Davis, so this is an effective way to cool the house down. When temperatures begin to rise again, close up the house, curtains and all.
When you do leave the house, be sure to protect yourself with water resistant broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+. Everyone needs to protect themselves from the sun, regardless of skin type and age. For your face and neck, a ½ tsp amount will do – that’s about a nickel-sized dollop. For the rest of your body, 1 ounce (a full shot glass) will do the trick.
Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure even if it is cloudy. If you’re walking, standing, or doing a low-intensity activity outdoors, reapply every 2 hours. If you’re getting sweaty, swimming, or it’s windy, apply more frequently – after 40 or 80 minutes depending on your sunscreen’s water resistance.
Consider applying more frequently if you’re experiencing any of the following conditions:
- playing or swimming in water
- latitude (Closer to the equator? Apply more sunscreen!)
- higher altitude
- spending time on sand or concrete
- Limit midday sun. Avoid exposure between 10am and 2pm when the sun’s rays have the most potential to cause harm.
- Wear a sun hat. Baseball hats leave cancer-prone ears and the back of the neck exposed, so a wide-brimmed hat (at least a 3 inch brim) is recommended.
- Wear long sleeves and pants if possible. Look for clothes made from tightly woven materials. Some clothing, like rash guards, are made for increased sun protection.
- Protect your ears, nose, cheeks, lips, and hands. The majority of skin cancers occur in these areas. Protect with sunscreen, hats, and gloves.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the delicate skin around your eyes. Choose sunglasses with UV protection.