For many people, there’s only one thing stopping them from enjoying summer: oppressive heat. But, frankly, that’s no reason to let ridiculously high temperatures keep you from enjoying everything that’s wonderful about the season. There are plenty of ways to keep your cool.
1. Up Your Vitamin C Intake
Researchers at the University of Alabama found that vitamin C increases your tolerance for heat by delaying sweat gland fatigue, which reduces the occurrence of heat exhaustion and prickly heat rash. And research also found that vitamin C keeps your body temperature from rising during heat exposure.
2. Get Some Houseplants
The benefits of having houseplants are manifold. They can improve mood, purify air, and they can also make a room feel cooler. Plants release moisture into the air, which helps regulate the relative humidity of a room and can make it feel more comfortable than it otherwise would.
3. Eat Spicy Food
There’s a reason spicy food is so popular in places with hot climates. It turns out eating something hot is a great way to stay cool. Capsaicin, the substance in peppers that makes spicy food spicy, binds to the pain receptors in your mouth. In response, your brain interprets this as being hot, and makes you sweat, and the sweat on your skin subsequently cools you down.
4. Sip Some Peppermint Tea
A glass of peppermint tea is a great way to make your insides feel cool and tingly, thanks to menthol, a substance in the plant that works the opposite way capsaicin does, by tricking your body into feeling cold. You can also spray mint tea on your skin to provide both evaporative and mentholated cooling, so this beverage pulls double duty.
5. Eat Water-Rich Food
Being dehydrated is a quick way to overheat in the summer, so be smart and sneak in extra water whenever you can. Seasonal produce like watermelon, cantaloupes, and cucumbers contain loads of water. In addition, they’re easy to digest, don’t need to be cooked, and taste better in season than they will the rest of the year. In other words, they’re the perfect summer food.
6. Practice Meditation
Many people report feeling cold during or just after meditation, meaning a little mindfulness practice might be enough to cool you down on a hot day. There are also specific cooling breathing exercises, called pranayama, practiced in yoga, that can make you feel cooler in no time if meditation isn’t doing the trick.
7. Pull Out Your Summer Whites
Light colors reflect light, which means you’ll be cooler in white or pastels than you would be in dark clothes. And whenever possible, opt for loose-fitting clothes that provide better air flow.
8. Soak Your Feet
Pulse points are spots on your body where blood vessels are very close to the surface, which makes them ideal to focus on when you want to cool down fast. Soaking your feet in cool water will give you instant relief from the heat and can also be helpful if your feet swell in hot weather.