Tips to stay cool in the summer heat

July 26, 2019

As the summer sun continues to show its scorching, scalding, sweltering strength, it is important to intentionally find ways to stay cool. Practicing these tips can help you cool off during these hot summer months.

  • Reduce the amount of solar heat entering indoor areas by using blinds to direct light to your ceilings and closing curtains. Another option is to maintain the trees around your home to provide natural shade.

  • Stay hydrated by refilling your reusable water bottle frequently. The human body retains more heat when dehydrated, which could lead to a heat stroke. Drink plenty of water to lower your core temperature and enable the body to sweat as necessary. Avoid dehydrating drinks such as tea, coffee or alcohol.

  • Wear light-colored clothing, as it will reflect sunlight, whereas darker clothing absorbs sunlight and converts it to heat. Similarly, choosing lighter paint colors and roofing materials will help keep your home cool.

  • Turn up your thermostat during the summer and use fans to cool an indoor area. Fans use less energy than most air conditioning units. Ceiling fans should be set to push air downward in summer, and upward in winter (usually a small switch on the fan).  

  • Eat hydrating foods like melons, berries, celery and cucumbers. Avoid hard-to-digest foods that are oily or high in protein, as they increase blood flow to your core. Spicy foods can also have a cooling effect as your brain takes them as signals to increase natural cooling through sweating.

  • Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. Light bulbs and electronics emit heat when turned on or in stand-by mode.

  • Avoid walking on or near asphalt when possible. Sunlit asphalt, especially freshly paved sections, radiates heat much more than concrete or grass. The Toby Creek Greenway and Botanical Gardens are great on-campus options for enjoying the outdoors while staying in the shade.

Though the extreme heat is the cause of discomfort these days, try to keep the environment in mind when seeking relief. If every person chooses healthy and sustainable methods to cool off, the environmental impact will begin to improve over time. Our planet and future generations will thank you!