As summer is closing in on us and the weather has been unseasonably hot for this time of year.
Most people, both visitors and residents, are reaching for the air-conditioning control more often than they should despite the fact that those who spent a lot of time in an air conditioned environment become increasingly more intolerant of hot summer temperatures.
Add to that other issues caused by airco use like dry skin and increased effects of any illness that you may already be suffering from, and you’ll soon look for alternatives. The best way to deal with the heat is to let your body adjust to hot temperatures. To help you adjust without getting too hot and sweaty, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you stay cool without air-conditioning, be it during the day or night.
Stay in the shade when it’s at its hottest outside
Obvious you’d think, but sometimes people forget. Especially if you’re on holiday you want to make the most out of your time away, which can lead to bad ideas like staying on the beach to soak up the maximum amount of sun between 11am and 2pm. Apart from being really hot you’re also risking getting sunburnt.
Chill in hammocks
Instead, find a hammock for those midday hours. Many resorts, apartment complexes and hotels have a few already strung up in their common areas, conveniently located in the shade and preferably in the breeze. Being suspended in the air helps you cool off much more than for example chilling on a comfy couch.
Make use of that pool
Feeling hot? Jump into that tempting pool. When you get out chill in the shade with a refreshing drink. On the beach? Jump into the sea to cool off! When you’re done rinse off the salt and sand with a cold shower and get back into the shade.
Cotton is the key
Dress in light cotton clothing if you’re not in the pool or in the ocean. Cotton breathes well and allows for better air circulation, which helps in absorbing and removing body moisture caused by sweat.
Drink hot beverages
The reason why you often see people in warm climates drinking piping hot tea is because it helps you cool down. Maybe counter-intuitive, but when you sip a hot beverage, your body senses the change in temperature and increases your sweat production. Then, as the sweat evaporates from your skin, you cool off naturally.
Eat less more often
Your body will probably be giving you signs in this direction in any case. You’ll probably feel less hungry and won’t really want to have hot food. Go for salads, fresh raw food, vegetables and fruit. Avoid eating meat and protein-heavy foods during the heat of the day because these can increase metabolic heat production, which can add to loss of water. Cold soups are great in warm weather. If you haven't tried them yet, hot weather is the excuse you need!
Use ceiling fans or any other fan
Most apartments and hotel rooms will have ceiling fans. Failing that there will be an oscillating fan. Check that the ceiling fans are turning counter clockwise so that they will be pulling the hot air up instead of pushing the hot air down. Still hot? Try placing a couple of frozen bottles of water in front of the fan and feel the difference in air temperature.
Take cold showers
Whenever you feel it’s too hot, take a cold shower. This is definitely the best thing you can do before going to bed, so you’ll hit the sack fresh.
Stay cool in bed
Best way to stay cool in bed is to sleep alone. Want to share your bed? Then make sure your bed is big enough so that you don’t need to be touching each other unless you want to. If you have the space, it is best to sleep in a spread-eagle position, with arms and legs spread wide and away from the body. This will help the body not retain so much heat and moisture, allowing you to feel cooler, longer.
Also at night cotton is the key
Sleep with just a cotton bedsheet, or nothing at all, and depending on your preference make sure that if you wear something that it is also cotton.
Keep your feet cool
Before going to bed find a bowl that’s big enough to dip your feet in and add water as well as a frozen water bottle. Keep this next to your bed as well as a towel. When you feel hot at night dip your feet into the refreshing water. It’ll help cool down the rest of you as well.
Can’t resist the airco?
Chances are your bedroom in your apartment or hotel room has an air-conditioning unit and some people won’t be able to resist the cold air promise. In that case just make sure you put the air-conditioning on sleep mode so you don’t wake up in the middle of night freezing.