Mind & Spirit

10 easy ways to beat the heat

10 easy ways to beat the heat

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Mind & Spirit

10 easy ways to beat the heat

Cool ways to chill out this summer without turning on the A/C.

Summer's back with a vengeance, and you want to keep your cool without breaking the bank – or fuelling a blackout. Don't despair – air-conditioning isn't the only answer! Whether you don't have A/C or are trying to save energy (and money!), these 10 tips will stop you from overheating.

1. Snack on treats from the freezer. Munch on frozen grapes, berries or bananas, whip up some smoothies, or make homemade Popsicles with the kids. Fruit juice is the classic standby – and the most hydrating option – but you can also mix things up by adding chunks of fruit or freezing pudding with nuts and marshmallows. (Try the Test Kitchen's recipe for Yogurt Berry Ice Pops)

2. Keep the blinds closed during the day to keep out the sunlight; open windows at night to let in fresh, cool air. Also think about switching up the drapes – lighter-coloured window coverings will reflect light and help keep the house cool, while darker-coloured ones will absorb the heat.

3. Have a late-evening barbecue dinner. You'll be spending time outside where it's cooler while keeping the oven off. If you must cook indoors, try using the microwave or toaster oven to reduce power consumption and avoid raising the temperature.

4. Keep the lights off – and any other electrical appliance that creates heat, such as computers. Even better, switch some lightbulbs to compact fluorescents, which emit less heat and use less energy.

5. Up your intake of H2O. For a refreshing drink with more flavour, mix one part fruit juice (such as cranberry or orange) with two parts sparkling water. Also make sure your pets' dishes are full – try adding a few ice cubes to keep kitty cool. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they promote dehydration.

6. Have a pool party. Fill up the wading pool and dip in your feet while the kids and their friends splash around. Remember to limit water use in areas with restrictions – that means no sprinkler, unfortunately. Instead, have the kids fill up their water guns for a more active way to cool down.

7. Go on a field trip. Take the kids to the library, where you can stay cool while catching up on your reading. This is especially important if you don't have air-conditioning at home, as your body will handle the heat better if it's not constantly overheated.

8. Make something chilly to eat. Try salads or chilled soups  (some can even be made straight in the blender), and treat yourself to ice cream or sorbet for dessert. 

9. Wear loose, lightweight clothing in natural fabrics like cotton or linen, which help your body breathe. Aim for light colours that reflect light and heat.

10. If you exercise outdoors, do it in the morning or evening, when the sun and the temperature are low. If you will be in the sun, make sure to wear a hat and sunscreen and stay hydrated.

And remember, summer's supposed to be fun!  Don't overdo things if the heat is making you sluggish. There's nothing wrong with lying in the shade with a good book and a cool drink – in fact, isn't that what you dreamed of all winter?


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Mind & Spirit

10 easy ways to beat the heat