When summer strikes, high, sometimes uncomfortable temperatures come with it. Severe heat should be taken seriously and it's important to understand the dangers.
"The body cools down primarily by the evaporation of sweat on the skin," Director of Integrative Pain Management at The Mount Sinai Hospital Houman Danesh, MD, said. "When the air is dry, sweat evaporates and cools the skin. When the air is humid, sweat doesn't evaporate as well and the body is unable to cool down."
The best way to stay safe is to stay hydrated and keep indoors during peak sun hours. However, even inside can get steamy. If you don't have an air-conditioner to rely on, or if that still isn't cutting it, here are five unconventional ways to stay cool this summer.
1. Load Up on Spices
While it may sound strange, eating spicy foods can actually cool your body down. The heat of your dish will make you sweat and, in turn, cool you off naturally. If that sounds too extreme, Registered Dietician and Professor at the University of Connecticut Nancy Rodriguez suggested using spicy ingredients in salsa, guacamole and other summer snacks.
2. Use the Products You Already Have
You can turn everyday products into a cooling sensations simply by storing them in the refrigerator. Sunscreen, lotions, toners, creams and even perfume can all be kept safely in the fridge to give you a refreshing lift upon application.
Nicole Darmanin, spokesperson for skin care company Mario Badescu, said that products such as eye creams can be kept in the refrigerator and applied cool. "It is so refreshing, especially during the summer months. The application of the cool eye gel around the eyes is also great for calming tired, puffy morning eyes," she said.
3. Cool Your Pulse
The National Sleep Foundation recommended placing a damp washcloth in the freezer to create an easy, cooling compress. Placing the frozen cloth on your wrists or any pulse points will bring an icy shock to your body. If you do not have an ice pack, leave your wrists under cold, running water for 30 seconds. This will cool the blood in your veins and provide some instant relief.
4. Drink Up but Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol
Especially after being outside in hot weather, it is important to hydrate and replenish your body. Registered Dietician and Professor of Nutrition at Baylor Suzy Weems suggested "cool, refreshing liquids" following time in the sun. She recommends water and juices.
She cautioned against iced tea or anything with caffeine as some people can see increased perspiration. As refreshing as it may sound, beer, wine or hard liquor are all poor options, according to Weems. Alcohol is dehydrating and should be avoided during scorching heat.
5. Create a Faux AC
To simulate the feel of an air-conditioner, Medicine.net recommended placing a bowl of ice in front of a box fan and sitting directly in front of the flow or air.