15 Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer from 15 Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer

15 Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer

Summer…possibly the best time of the year because people travel, have time off, and spend vacations together. But it’s scorching hot - in and outside - and the sweat just doesn’t seem to go away.

The heat negatively affects our bodies, moods and bank accounts because the AC is always on. But you can keep all three happy and healthy.

Certain quick tips will come in handy as reports on the hottest year in history seem to come out every 12 months. In fact, 2015 was globally the warmest since records began in 1880, according to NASA and NOAA. The Top 5 are 2015, 2014, 2010, 2013, 2005.

You can probably safely assume that this summer won’t be cool.

You have to adapt, which can be a challenge. The following list will help you deal better with the sweltering and uncomfortable days ahead. There is more than staying away from sugary drinks, alcohol, which are slowly killing you anyway, and caffeine.

1. Avoid cooking in the oven or using a dishwasher

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Give the cook in you a summer vacation. If you must cook though, use a crockpot. Turning the oven on will only make your kitchen, and consequently your apartment, especially if it’s a small one, even hotter. The same goes for the dishwasher. Keep if off to avoid warm and steamy conditions inside.  

2. Change the lights

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Even one incandescent bulb generates a lot of heat – almost 9,000 joules. More than 90 percent of the energy produced by incandescent lights is heat, not light, according to Consumer Energy Center. The produced heat then hurts your electricity bill. Switch to compact fluorescent lights or LED (9 Gadgets to Take Off-the-Grid).

3. Walk on grass

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You know how asphalt gets very hot? Well, grass doesn’t. So go to a park and walk barefoot on grass, preferably under trees (See the best urban parks in America). They are your natural AC because they block the sun. The grass takes the moisture from the soil and releases it, leading to evaporative cooling, the decrease in temperature after liquid evaporates, removing heat from the surface (similar to sweating).

4. Work out

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Working out when it’s hot outside poses many risks to the body – cramps, exhaustion, and even heatstroke. But when you exercise, your temperature increases and the body is acclimating to heat. So when the hot days actually come, it takes longer for the body to reach a high temperature, according to Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science.

5. Don’t wipe off the sweat right away

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This goes back to the evaporative cooling principal (20 Sweat-Busting Antiperspirants). Sweating is a natural process through which the body cools off. Each gram of sweat transitioning from liquid to gas phase absorbs 2,427 joules of energy into the air, thereby decreasing the body temperature.

6. Keep the windows closed and curtains down when the sun is out

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Keep the windows shut and close the blinds during the day. This will keep the heat out and keep it from radiating through. For extra protection, hang a damp towel in front of the window to cool the air that eventually flows in. Open opposing windows at night to create a drift (12 Refreshing Ways To Beat The Heat In America's National Parks). 

7. Have some cold peppermint tea

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Menthol, which is the main ingredient of peppermint tea, helps the body cool down. (It also helps get rid off belly bloat.) Ever had menthol and your mouth felt like it was freezing? Same effect. Menthol activates TRPM8, a receptor protein in the brain that has been found to play a role in sensing temperature fall, according to studies.

8. Place frozen water bottles in front of fans

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This is the easiest do-it-yourself kind of natural air conditioner. The breeze created by the fan will be much cooler. If you add salt to the water before it freezes, it will take longer to melt. Position the bottles at an angle so that the air whips off the ice, creating a chilly waft (10 Tips for Surviving Summertime Marathon Training). 

9. Spray aloe vera on yourself

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Using aloe vera is common for sunburn relief but you can also use it to stay cool. Make a spray with it. Include some peppermint oil for a maximum effect. Sprinkle all over you when you feel you’re getting uncomfortably warm.

10. Make ice-cold sheets

Cotton sheets are a good choice because the material breathes easier and stays cooler. Place the sheets in plastic bags and put them in the fridge a few hours before you go to bed. It works like a charm. You can also use reusable ice pack sheets.

11. Turn electronic devices off

The more electronics you have on in your home, the hotter it will get. Computers, laptops, television sets are all hidden sources of heat. Unplugging them will also cut about 10 percent or more to your monthly utility bill, according to the Department of Energy. Turning them off is also one of the secrets for getting a great night's sleep.

12. Face the fan out, not in

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When your fan is facing out the window, it blows hot air out of the room, which is replaced by cold air from outside, according to Life Hacker. As the cold air comes in, the temperature will drop. It's best if you have another window to open elsewhere so you can get a cross draft going.

13. Apply ice on wrist and neck

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The wrist and neck are so-called pressure/cooling points of the body because this is where blood vessels are closest to the surface of the skin. Put some ice in a towel and wrap it around your neck. (Have you noticed that tennis players do that to stay cool?)

14. Drink hot tea

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Not having enough water is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Drinking cold water feels awesome when it’s hot but it’s not the best option. Go for a hot tea instead. It, or any hot drink for that matter, results in a lower amount of heat stored in the body when the additional sweat evaporates, according to a study.

15. Know how to use a ceiling fan

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It has to spin counterclockwise to keep you cool. The fan will create an artificial breeze that evaporates moisture from your skin. Set the speed at medium or high but only when people are occupying it.