22 Jun Staying Cool From the Inside Out
Even when summer is your favorite time of year, there’s one downside that none of us can escape: the AC-induced spike in our electric bills. Keeping yourself comfortable can be a challenge as the season peaks. So what can we do to keep cool without spending a fortune on cranking the AC? These tips can help you acclimate your body to higher temperatures, making the heat a little more comfortable.
Eating Spicy Food
We’re often tempted to bring our body temperature down with a frozen treat or a cold drink, but this can actually have the opposite effect; when your internal temperature is cooled too fast your body will compensate by raising it back up. Not helpful! Instead, dig in to your favorite spicy foods. The capsaicin in hot chilis fools your body into think it’s hotter than it actually is, causing you to sweat, and cooling your whole body much more effectively. This cooling effect is one theory on why spicy food is so popular in countries with hot climates!
This is obviously not an option in a place like Vegas with its intensely dry heat – it’s pretty basic safety. But staying well hydrated does actually help your body tolerate the heat a little better. Supplying your body with the water it needs to sweat freely can keep your body temperature in a comfortable range.
Yoga is good for your body in a ton of ways, who knew cooling it down could be one of them? There are several yogic breathing techniques that can help you cool things down. Just remember, if you’re coping with a respiratory issue like asthma or a cold it’s better to try a different way of bringing your temperature down. Ditto if you’re in a situation where the air quality is really bad, like sitting in traffic with the windows open – you don’t need that in your lungs!
- Sitali (the cooling breath) – for the talented folks who can roll their tongue. Stick out your tongue and roll it, then breathe through your tongue like a straw. Inhale slowly, then close your mouth and exhale slowly through the nose. Make sure you’re well-hydrated for this technique; the moisture on your tongue is what helps cool the incoming air.
- Sitkari (teeth hissing) – if you can’t roll your tongue, try this instead. Set your upper and lower front teeth together and smile. Press the tip of your tongue against the back of your teeth and breath in (you’ll hear that hissing sound). As with Sitali, breathe in slowly and then close the mouth to exhale slowly through the nose. Again, the moisture in your mouth is what helps to cool incoming air.
- Left nostril breathing – Hold your right nostril closed with your right thumb and breath slowly with just the left nostril. Pause at the top and bottom of each breath.
Keep Your Freezer Full
Lifehack fans know that keeping your freezer full helps the appliance run more efficiently. Use this to your advantage! Keep a supply of wash cloths, handkerchiefs, and even pillow cases stashed in the freezer. Then any time you feel over heated, or you’re preparing to head out into the heat, you can grab a cool cloth to bring down your body temperature. Plus, what feels better on a hot night than laying your weary head down on a nice cold pillow? Perfect way to end a fun-in-the-sun summer day.