Staying cool despite soaring temperatures

Are you having trouble staying cool as the temperatures climb?

Is your AC working overtime slamming those power bills out of the ballpark? 

Some days, it’s just too hot to cook. It’s too hot to even grill outside to avoid heating up the kitchen. And it’s too expensive, plus usually unhealthy, to go out for every meal.

So, we decided to look for ways of staying cool that we may have forgotten about or not thought of to date. Simple ways. Inexpensive ways.

Staying cool internally

  • Drink lots of liquids – mostly water but a little fruit or vegetable juice in the mix is OK. 
  • Do your walking and other exercising in the cooler mornings or evenings.
  • Dip bare feet into a tub of icy water periodically throughout the day.
  • Run cold water over the inside of your wrists.
  • Take a tepid shower gradually turning the water to cooler temperatures.
  • Wrap damp cold towels across your neck.
  • Store whatever cosmetics you use on your face in the refrigerator.
  • Sit still for a few minutes and breathe deep, in through the mouth, out through the nose.
  • Wear lightweight cotton clothes that fit loosely.
  • Use small hand-held fans.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine.
  • Avoid hot drinks and hot food as much as possible.
  • A tenuous suggestion is to lightly mist your sheets before going to bed on those sweltering nights.

Keeping the house cool

Oscillating fans help air circulate
  • Use oscillating fans – either the standing ones or table-top versions - to circulate more air.
  • Keep the blinds and curtains closed when the sun shines in; they can be opened when the sun shifts.
  • Avoid cooking as much as possible. If needed, cook early mornings or evenings.
  • Use the microwave, stovetop or toaster oven rather than the regular stove oven.
  • Eat smoothies, salads with fresh vegetables, fruit with yogurt or whipped cream, sandwiches, cold soups like gazpacho.
  • Rather than trying to cool your own home in the hottest part of the day, go to a shopping mall, museum, library, movie or a friend’s house.

Other heat-related safety tips from the Red Cross

  • Never leave a child or pet alone in an enclosed car. It becomes an oven in minutes.
  • Postpone outdoor activities in extremely hot weather.
  • Check on outdoor pets and make sure they have plenty of water and shady places to hang out.
  • Check on neighbors regularly, particularly the elderly ones.
  • If you have to work outdoors, take frequent breaks and use a buddy system.
  • If you suspect someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, get them to a cooler location and give them water.
  • If you suspect someone is suffering the more serious heat stroke, immerse the person up to the neck in cold water if possible. If not, spray cold water on the face and cover the body with cold wet towels or bags of ice.

Even if you can’t remember all these suggestions, staying cool mostly requires using your common sense. Remember, it’s not just for our own comfort. 

Healthy aging and our well-being depend on us staying cool – temperature-wise and attitude-wise.

And don’t forget to be grateful for the invention of air-conditioning. How did people survive before? Of course, the planet wasn’t quite so hot back then … but that’s another story.

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