Summertime in places like Texas and Florida, or pretty much anywhere along the Gulf Coast, is synonymous with heat and humidity. The number one way that people keep cool in these parts is by the greatest invention ever: air conditioning. AC ranks up there with electricity, automobiles, and the Internet. The unfortunate catch to this genius device is the dramatic negative effect it has on your energy bill. So this year, try some “outside of the box” ways to keep cool that won’t impact the bottom line:
1. Dress for the Occasion
Take the lead of those who spend most of their lives in tropical climates: loose, lightweight cotton and linen clothing rules. Or maybe the old standard of the American Deep South: seersucker. Its crisp cotton and cooling ridges make it a hot weather classic.
2. Cool Your Pulse Points
Just like when you were sick as a child, your mom may have brought you a cold face cloth. This idea works the same way. Chill your pulse points by running cold water over your wrist for a minute or so each hour. Splashing water on your temples or face can produce a similar effect.
3. Don’t Eat. Graze
Ever notice how you feel hot after a big meal? It’s not just because the food was served warm, but that big, protein-laden meals force your body to stoke its metabolic fires. The solution is to break up your eating into smaller, more frequent meals. You’ll feel cooler — and it’s better for your health.
4. Eat to Sweat
Latin America, India, and Thailand — some of the world’s hottest places. And by no coincidence, they happen to serve some of the world’s hottest foods. Scientists have argued for years over why this is the case, but the most likely reason is that spicy foods make you sweat without actually raising body temperature. This is because of capsaicin, a chemical found in things like hot peppers. Once your skin is damp, you’ll feel cooled naturally by its evaporation.
5. Stay Cool Under the Covers
A lot of people find it difficult to sleep in hot weather. Want to cool your bed down? Fill a standard hot water bottle with ice water, and use it to cool your ankles and the back of your knees — it works. You can also try bagging your sheets and tossing them in the freezer for an hour or two before bed.