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5 Free Ways to Stay Cool on Hot Days

Climate wonks and meteorologists are already speculating on whether the Earth’s surface will spontaneously combust this summer, so it probably won’t hurt to have a couple cool tricks up your sleeve (if you’re crazy enough to be wearing them) for when the mercury starts to boil. Below are five tips for keeping cool that don’t involve cranking up the <a title="Air Conditioners" href="http://www.atgstores.com/air-conditioners_1420.html?linkloc=tn" target="_blank">AC</a> – although that’s probably not going to hurt anything. <strong>1. Wear Loose-Fitting Clothes</strong> Lots of people say wearing black attracts heat and so you should wear light colors in summer, but that’s only getting you halfway there. A white shirt may reflect light (and, by extension, heat), but it will also bounce the heat from your body back to you. The key is to keep it loose so air can circulate through your clothing regardless of the color. <strong>2. Wear Mesh Hats</strong> This is only for those people who feel compelled to wear any kind of hat at all. It’s a good idea if you combine something with a mesh top and a brim that keeps the sun off your face (hello, trucker hat!), but you might want to skip the beanie on warm days. <a title="The Guardian" href="http://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/dec/17/medicalresearch-humanbehaviour" target="_blank">It’s a myth</a> that “most body heat escapes through the head,” but it is true that your dome is sensitive to temperature and heat trapped on your head by a hat will make your whole body feel hotter. <strong>3. Put Your Feet in Cold Water</strong> You’d be surprised how well this works, and we’re not talking about a trip to the lake. A foot bath is best, but you can use a mop bucket if you must. Fill it with cold water, drop in a few ice cubes and put your bare feet in there while you’re sitting … wherever. Chances are it’ll be so cold you can’t stand it at first, but you’ll settle into a sweet spot after a few minutes. <strong>4. Drink Something Hot</strong> This may not sound like the most enjoyable thing to do on a hot day, but <a title="NPR" href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/07/11/156378713/cool-down-with-a-hot-drink-its-not-as-crazy-as-you-think" target="_blank">many studies show</a> that having a hot drink can actually help cool you down. Apparently, there are receptors in the mouth and tongue that tell the brain when we’re consuming something hot, and the brain responds by kicking on the internal AC. The argument is whether the cooling effect outweighs the heat in your mouth, to which supporters respond, “How can 2 billion year-round tea drinkers be wrong?” <strong>5. Hydrate!</strong> As any green recruit can tell you, this is what drill instructors are screaming into the faces of terrified men and women every day in Basic Training courses around the country – even at this very moment! Sweating is the human body’s first cool-down response and so being well-hydrated helps keep your core temperature down, which will in turn help you to feel cooler. We hope these tips keep you chill while saving on your cooling bill this summer.
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