Practical and Simple Things You Can do to Cool Off
We often talk about the importance of being hydrated and staying cool during high-heat survival situations. However, it’s also important to find ways to keep cool throughout the course of everyday life as well. Let’s look at some simple things that we can all do in order to avoid creating a survival situation due to heat exposure.
Find Air Conditioning
This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook the simple when we’re in “survival mode”. It may be just as easy, and much more comfortable, to get in the car and head to the mall, library or supermarket and enjoy free air conditioning. Even if you ended up in a hot room due to a power outage or the aftermath of a storm, a short ride to a place that has not been affected may be the best answer. Take advantage of this option whenever you can, and you can avoid the need to find more inventive ways to stay cool.
Soak Hands and Feet
Believe it or not, our hands and feet are big temperature gauges. This is why we can warm our entire bodies by covering them up during the winter. In the same way, we can soak them in cool water in order to make us more comfortable in the heat as well. In fact, you may feel a shiver as soon as give your extremities a dunk in basin of cool water.
The active ingredient in hot peppers, capsicum, causes our airways and pores to open. This helps to remove mucous in the lungs and gunk from our sweat glands. Open pores also vent heat from our bodies into the ambient air. While you may feel hot and sweat a lot after eating peppers, you’re actually releasing heat, and the moisture on your body will help to cool you off as it comes in contact with moving air.
Open Vents and Windows
Open doors and hatches that lead to the attic or upstairs and open roof vents to release the heat outside. Remember that heat rises, so the only time you want to keep doors and vents upstairs closed is when you are running the air conditioner. You may also be able to generate a breeze in the lower level of your home if conditions are right and hot air moves upward and out. Always remember that air circulation is the best way to keep things cool inside the home when the air conditioner is not working.
Take Tepid Showers
A cold shower will close pores and cause the body to start to retain heat inside its core. A tepid or warm shower will cause your pores to open and release heat. Consequently, the best way to cool down is by warming up. You may not feel it while you are taking the shower, but you will notice that you’re much cooler afterwards.
Drink Lots of Water
Your body will cool down and release heat after a good drink of water. Ever notice how you sweat after you have a drink, especially if you are hot? This is because the body uses water to transport heat to the sweat glands and lungs before radiating heat out through perspiration and respiration. The trick is to drink water consistently in order to keep this process going for maximum effect.
These are just a few examples that illustrate how we don’t need to go to extremes in order to get cool. This is also by no means an exhaustive list. There are dozens of other simple and practical tricks that you can use to cool down if you don’t have an air conditioner or the power goes out. Always be on the lookout for more, and feel free to share any insights and tips that you have so we can all stay cooler as temperatures rise.