Sizzlin' Summer

by - July 06, 2010

Welcome to summer in the South. That's what it looks feels like on a daily basis. And there is no beating it. I don't care what all the so-called experts tell you. You just learn to deal with it.
So why do people from the north want to retire here? (More specifically in Florida.) Don't they know what they're getting themselves into? Humidity that's so high you break into a sweat at 8:00 a.m.; crazy, unpredictable afternoon thunderstorms; life-threatening sunburns; heat stroke.
 So in the spirit of the record heat wave currently sizzling on the East Coast, here are some unusual ways to keep cool.

1. Go Tropical.
No, I don't mean a vacation, although that would be nice. I was talking about your clothing. Keep things loose and light-weight.

2. Cool Your Pulse Points.
Remember when you were sick and your mom would lay a wet washcloth on your forehead to ease the fever? This is the same principle. Run cold water or put ice cubes on your wrists every hour or so for about a minute. Splashing cold water on your face/temples also helps, although it could smear your makeup (but if you're living in the South you know the folly of trying to wear full makeup and avoid it).
3. Don't Eat.
Okay, so I don't mean to not eat at all. But have you ever noticed how you feel hot after a big meal? Well, that's because big meals kick-start your metabolism. So break your meals up into smaller ones. It's healthy for you, too. (And now I'm hungry!)

4. Eat to Sweat.
Sounds gross, doesn't it? But get this - spicy foods make you sweat without actually raising your body temperature. And when the sweat is evaporating off your skin, you feel cooler.
5. Stay Cool Under the Covers.
I don't know about you but it's hard to fall asleep when you're hot, so here are some tricks to help you cool down at bedtime: a) fill a hot water bottle with ice water and use it to cool your ankles and backs of your knees; b) toss your sheets in the freezer for an hour or two before bed; and c) use a cool, absorbent cotton pillow to keep your head cool which will in turn keep the rest of your body cool.

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