Five Ways to Keep Cool

With the sweltering summer heat all around us, people are looking for ways to keep cool. Staying hydrated in the heat is important for your health but also for your comfort. Learn how to beat the summer heat by following these inexpensive and convenient tips.

Tip #1: Use ceiling fans in your home

If you turn the air conditioning up to 77 or 78 degrees Fahrenheit, it may seem warmer in the house, but your electric bill will be lower. To keep feeling cooler, turn the ceiling fans on. If you do not have ceiling fans, use box or oscillating fans. Just be sure to turn them off when you leave the room so you continue to conserve energy.

Tip #2: Drink tea

Iced tea is a great and healthy way to cool off. You can buy pre-made iced tea, but for a healthier option, brew your own tea. You can do this in several ways. Brew the tea as you would for a hot cup and then pour it over ice. If this dilutes the tea too much for your tastes, chill the tea in the refrigerator or use a higher concentration of tea to water when brewing. You can also put the tea bags into cold water and store the brew in the refrigerator overnight.

Tip #3: Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is important for everyone, but especially people who work outside in the summer heat and humidity. Consuming beverages like water and tea keeps you hydrated and provides enough electrolytes to restore balance to your body and stave off dehydration. Try keeping bottles of water in the freezer. When you go outside to work, take a bottle with you. As the ice melts, you will have a ready supply of cold water to keep you going in the heat. Consider as well making tea cubes to put in ice tea. As they melt, your tea won’t lose its flavor.

Tip #4: Take breaks

If you are working outside in the heat, be sure you can get out of the sun periodically. Sitting in the shade or going into the air conditioning every hour or so will help you cool off.  Keep a spray bottle with cold water handy to spray your face when you’re ready for a break and be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat or other head covering and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes while outdoors.

Tip #5: Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing

The darker the color of your clothes, the more heat your body will retain. Cotton is cooler than most synthetics and a white cotton T-shirt and cotton shorts will go a long way in keeping you cooler, as long as the clothing is loose. If the task you’re undertaking requires long sleeves and pants, such as clearing brush or close proximity to poison ivy, be sure to take frequent breaks so you don’t overheat.

If you don’t have air conditioning and the heat is getting unbearable, spend some time in the mall or in a library. If you have work to do, take your laptop to a coffee shop or other locale with Wi-Fi to get some relief during the hottest hours of the day. Even when there’s work to do, you can keep cool in the heat.

Thomas Stone

Thomas Stone is health blogger at and he focuses primarily on the benefits of exercise and nutrition for health.

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