The past week, my city was scorched by a heat wave with temperatures reaching up to 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit for my American audience) without the humidex; which made it feel like towards the mid 40’s. What people always do during a heat would be either expensive or just not cost effective. Under the assumption for this scenario lets says you have no air conditioning which every suburbanite I’ve apparently has in abundance. So you are sweating bigger beads than Mardi Gras, here’s a few tips on staying cool and staying a safe. Some of these are my home remedies that have worked pretty well for me.
1. Steal air conditioning (…legally)
If you want your body to stay cool, just find some place with AC. Tons of places you can get air conditioning for almost nothing. Libraries, shops, malls, and generally any place that requires a dress shirt to work there. If you have a significant other who likes to go shopping, just tag along. Likely wherever they’re heading has air conditioning; if they’re not a frequent shopper, just ask “hey sweetie, want to go shopping today?” If they start questioning your motives, respond with something witty like “we should spend more time together” or “we having gone out on a date in awhile.” The latter might get you into a restaurant situation which is the next part to this.
Places to avoid especially if you don’t want to feel like melting are places without AC or anything that can heat up. Examples are small area fast food restaurants, places that are crowded of full of people, and some cheap looking convenient stores.
Draw back to this is once you get out of the place to chill, you body will be shocked by the beating heat after feeling comfortable. When beating the heat, AC is very short term unless you can stay inside all day or you can hop to other places with AC until it cools off.
2. Biologically speaking
Your body can naturally cool itself down through sweating, unlike a lot of other mammals (ie. cats, dogs, and furry things). Sweat helps take heat by using water to conduct heat from the skin and evaporates. However there are other ways to cool off. I notice during hot weather wit a heat alert issued, people grab the coldest thing they can find. This is part good idea and bad idea. Like AC it only cools the surface of your body, but also it can contract the blood vessels under your skin which pulls the blood towards the core of your body (this is your chest and head regions). This results in a frivolous act of reapplying cold thing on your body to keep warm. “Eric, I can just apply this cold thing to my chest and cool off the rest of my body.” Jokes on you, your heart will naturally pump faster to maintain it’s own body temperature and likely contract some blood vessels in the process. So applying cold to keep cool will not help; if you think this is reverse psychology, guess again. Summer months I usually opt for lukewarm showers and refreshments. This is usually enough to make you feel somewhat cool while maintaining your body’s current state of cooling. Liquid of choice in this matter would be water since sweat is mostly water, you can just replenish your supply and move on. So carry a bottle of water and refill the bottle when you can.
Sugar refreshments are another matter of sorts. Since food contains certain molecules to provide energy to your body, your body will as a result radiate some heat to continue the digestion process; thus that warm sensation when you had a meal. I do recommend consuming food, but sugar can cause some of these reactions to be more vigorous. Meaning you will heat up faster as the sugar is broken down and distributed. So consume sparingly and hopefully during a meal so you’re not sweating out the whole day. As your body moves, it too generates energy. Which is pretty much taking stored energy to do something kinetic like walking or fanning yourself. As energy is being used, you do give off heat since heat is also a form of energy (if you didn’t learn this from elementary school, you pretty much should go back to school and learn about it.) So restrict movement for when it is necessary; don’t fan yourself since you can’t keep up that pace for hours on end to keep yourself cool. What I’m trying to say is work with your body and not against it.
Water is pretty important to living things since we are allergic to death. Make sure the source you’re drinking from is clean so you don’t get anything nasty. Drink up, and up, and up! Then sweat it out, and out, and out! Then drink some more. Seriously, if you’re parents didn’t teach you about drinking water then worst…parenting…ever…of all time.
So next time when the heat is on you; steal AC, cool off, and drink up.