Summer is back– with a vengeance! When the temps and humidity soar, it’s vitally important to take the steps to keep cool. Read on for our best tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and cool this summer.
Keep your body cool. Spritz your skin with a mist of cool or room-temperature water. Soak your feet in a bucket of cool water. Wet a towel, paper towel, or bandannas to cool your body. Focus on the neck/shoulders/head area and pressure points like ankles, behind the knees, wrists, and the bends of your elbows.
HYDRATE. Drink lots of water – more than you think you need! Minimize alcohol and caffeine, which are dehydrating.
Keep your moisturizer in the fridge. Treat yourself to a seriously cool treat with this tip. It’ll also prevent your moisturizer from sliding away or melting.
Eat cool and frozen foods. Avoid protein-heavy meals which can raise your body’s metabolic heat as it attempts to break down the heavy food. Some suggest eating spicy foods, which will increase your internal body temperature. You’ll start sweating and once your moisture has evaporated, you’re cooled off!
Wear the right clothes. Wear loose, breathable (think: cotton) clothing. Choose footwear that won’t leave your feet sweaty (including socks). Wear a hat for shade.
Limit outdoor activities. Exercise in the mornings and evenings when it is cooler. Avoid outdoor activity between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the sun is at its hottest.
Know the signs of heat-related illness: headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, cramps, high body temperature, or a fast pulse. Seek medical attention if needed. Learn more here.
INSIDE THE HOME
Move the air. Keep cool during the heatwave by circulating cool air inside. To do this, simply fill a large bowl with ice and water. Then, place it in front of a fan and ice-cold air will flow in your room.
Close it up. Close your windows and blinds during the day.
Unplug. Unplug any appliances or chargers not in use to cut down on the heat they generate.
Use breathable sheets. The lower the thread count of the cotton, the more breathable it is. You can also pop your sheets in the fridge or freezer for a half an hour before you sleep! Buy some gel packs to put place underneath your sheets or tuck between your legs.
Stay low. Lower levels of your home, like the basement, will be the coolest place to be. Consider sleeping there if possible.
Watch your animals. Make sure your pets are comfortable too. Give them a bath to help keep their body temperature down. You can also place a cool towel on a tile floor for your pet to lay on. Make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink too!
Be a good neighbor. Check on friends and neighbors too, especially those who are older or have health conditions.
Read our related post on maximizing your a/c unit’s performance.
The Bottom Line
Heat-related illnesses are serious business. Take the steps to prepare yourself and your home for the intense heat of DC area summers.