The heat is back. Summer is coming. The sun is out to get you—but don’t lose hope. Here are our top 10 ways to beat the heat.
10. Ignore the Temperature
Full sizeHeat fatigue might all be in your head. A study tested cyclists in different temperatures and found that the only ones who actually experienced heat fatigue were the ones who knew how hot it was. If you don’t know, you don’t really suffer from fatigue. Whether you’re riding your bike or just walking around, avoid any instincts to check the temperature. If you don’t know how hot it is, you’ll probably feel better.
9. Keep Drinks Cooler by Freezing Water in Milk Containers
Full sizeWhen you’re bringing cold drinks out to the beach, the pool, the yard, the edge of a hellscape, or any other sunny outdoor area, you want them to actually stay cold. Ice does the trick, but transporting tons of ice can be a pain. Instead of buying bags of the stuff, just save some old milk cartons, fill them up with water, and freeze them. Because they’re blocky they fit nicely in the cooler. If you need smaller blocks, just peel off the carton and crush the ice a bit. It’s an easier and cheaper solution.
8. Hydrate Any Way You Can
The are a lot of hydration myths—like drinking soda doesn’t help you at all or if you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated—and we’ve busted most of them. Water will often be your best bet when you need to stay hydrated, but it isn’t your only option. If you only have soda or a sports drink, it can still help. You also don’t need to drink eight glasses of whatever every single day. Just drink whenever you’re thirsty and you should be in pretty good shape.
7. Beat the Bugs
When the heat wave comes, bugs often come with it. If you want to avoid these insects, there are quite a few things you can do. First, you want to make sure you’re buying DEET-based bug spray because it’s the most effective. You can also save yourself some cash by making your own citronella candles, outdoor torches, and bug traps. You can even ward off ants with chalk. So long as you’re prepared, you shouldn’t be bothered too much by the bugs.
6. Get the Hot Air Out of Your Car Fast
Full size Every year I forget that leaving my car out in the sun makes the entire thing hot to the touch, which is especially unpleasant when you’re not expecting it. While cooling off a hot car is always going to take a little time, there’s a Japanese trick to get the stuffy air out fast. Basically, you open two parallel doors on your car, then open and close one of those doors repeatedly about five times. This pushes the warm air out and the cool air in. It’s a really clever trick that only takes a minute. Just make sure you don’t accidentally shut your hand in the door.
5. Stay Cool While You Sleep
Full sizeWhen you’re asleep, you can’t actively combat the heat. You also probably have a tough time getting to sleep when you’re overheating as it is. There are plenty of ways to stay cool at night so you can sleep comfortably despite the heat. For example, you can build your own air conditioner (or use an alternative method), get a cooling pillow like the Chillow, and put your sheets in the fridge before bedtime. Trial and error will decide which methods work best for you, but all will get you closer to a cool night’s rest.
4. Keep Your Computer Cool
Full sizeAn overheating computer is a fire hazard. It’s very important to keep it cool, especially in hot weather. If you don’t have the best cooling system on your machine—especially if your home isn’t air conditioned—you’re going to want to look at getting a better one. The upcoming heat is also a great excuse to go inside your desktop and start blowing out all the dust. A cleaner computer will run a bit cooler, and it’ll help you avoid a fire starting inside your case. For more tips and details on everything you need to do, check out our complete guide to keeping your computer cool.
3. Use the Heat to Your Advantage
When you know how heat works, you can use it to your advantage. To do that, all you really need is a basic understanding of thermodynamics. Then you’ll know how to use heat to open jars more easily, how to dress to stay cooler, and how to keep your house from turning into an oven. It’s science you can use!
2. Understand Sun Screen
Sunscreen doesn’t actually work the way you think. First of all, most of them don’t do anything and so you’re wasting your time. If you’re not buying a sunscreen that contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, you’re wasting your money. You also need to make sure you understand what an SPF rating is. SPF isn’t like a sunscreen power level, but rather what determines how long the sunscreen will last before you need to reapply it. To better-understand SPF and learn about how sunscreen actually works, check out this infographic.
1. Learn Your Body’s Cooling Spots for Temperature Reduction on the Quick
Full size We all know that cooling off involves coming into contact with something cooler than ourselves (like The Fonz), but that personal temperature reduction can happen a lot faster if you know your body’s quick cooling spots. Your neck and wrists are two of the best, but the top of your feet and insides of your ankles work, too (plus a few others). Just focus your ice pack, or whatever you’re using too cool yourself, on those areas and you’ll beat the heat in no time.