As summer inches closer and the temperature starts to rise, many people will take the sunshine and warm weather as an excuse to get outside. While the outdoors are generally good for our fitness and overall health, heat and humidity can become a nuisance and in some cases, can be dangerous.
The summer is most enjoyable when we can keep cool and despite the weather, there are a few things you can do to keep from overheating. Whether you plan to spend your summer exercising outside, lounging in the shade of keeping cool indoors, there are a few tricks that can keep you cool—or at least prevent you from sweltering.
It’s important to be aware of heat-related risks like heat exhaustion and heat stroke—know how to spot the symptoms and what to do. You should also be mindful of dehydration, but be careful not to drink too much water, as Hyponatremia is a real danger as well.
Despite the warm-weather risks and the occasionally oppressive heat, there are ample opportunities to enjoy the summer. Here are a few great ways to beat the heat.
Embrace Ice Cold Showers
In the height of summer an ice cold shower is one of the best ways to beat the heat. The frigid water effectively brings down your body temperature, removes sweat and when you leave shower water on your skin afterward, it could help keep you chilly through evaporative cooling. On top of those benefits, cold showers are good for your health in ways that have nothing to do with heat.
Ignore the Numbers
The old phrase, “ignorance is bliss” may ring true when it comes to feeling cool in spite of the heat. According to a study published in European Journal of Applied Physiology, elite cyclists performed better when they thought it was cooler, despite the actual temperature. The cyclists each went through three tests, one trial when the room temperature was 71.2 degrees (control trial), the other when the room was 88.5 degrees and the third—a deception trial—where the room was actually 88.8 degrees, but the display in the room (which the cyclists could see) said it was 78.8 degrees. At the end of the experiment, the athletes performed best during the deception trial, even beating the distance total and power output of the control trial by a small margin. So, the moral of the story is that you should keep your eyes off the thermometer and think cool thoughts.