Humid weather can be difficult to combat when it comes to keeping yourself cool, especially as temperatures are on the rise. Fortunately, there are some great methods out there to keep yourself healthy and safe during the next humid heatwave.
To stay cool in humid weather, you should focus on cooling down your body temperature and bringing the temperature of your house down. When you find yourself facing the great outdoors, you can choose activities that keep you on the cooler side and drink plenty of water.
Keeping yourself cool.
One of the most effective ways to beat the humidity is to keep your body temperature down. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, there are some steps that you can take to beat the heat.
Cold Drink + Cold Foods = Cooler Body
Drinking lots of the right fluids can be the most effective way to keep your body temperature down. There are plenty of options when choosing a hydrating drink such as water, milk, fruit-infused water, 100% fruit juice, sports drinks, caffeine-free tea, and coconut water. Avoiding alcoholic and caffeinated beverages will help your body retain as many of the electrolytes as possible.
Avoid using the oven and eat cool foods like salads and fresh fruit. Choose fruits that are high in water content like watermelon. You can even freeze watermelon and throw the pieces in your glass of water in place of ice cubes!
Cotton for the Win
Cotton is the perfect fabric choice for hot and humid weather for clothing and bedclothes. Wearing lightweight and moisture-wicking cotton layers will help keep you cool with the breathability of the fabric. Layers are a great choice because they can be removed and put back on as the weather conditions change.
Ice Bucket Challenge?
Absolutely kidding here. You don’t need to dump a bucket full of ice water on yourself to stay cool. However, a cool water shower definitely can help. Pulse points also play an important role in keeping your body temperature down. Cool water, a damp washcloth, or an ice pack on your neck, wrists, inside of your elbows or knees, tops of the feet and ankles are all pulse points that will help you cool off quickly.
Become One With the Climate
Acclimating to your climate has one of the greatest long term effects when it comes to staying cool in humid weather. The struggle, in the beginning, is a bit real, but the long term benefits will make you pretty hardcore!
Start with some light outdoor exercise. Nothing too strenuous but maybe a brief moderately paced walk. Turn down your AC 1-2° each day, which will help you adjust to the temperature in the house slowly. Continuing to stay hydrated still plays an important role in keeping you cool and healthy while acclimating to the humid weather conditions.
It’s Getting Hot in Here
The next major step in the plan to cool down is to bring the temperature indoors down to a comfortable level.
If you are amongst the number of homes that have air conditioning, hot and humid weather would be a great time to use it. Keep the temperature at a level that is comfortable for you. If you crank the temperature to say 65℉, an increase in your electric bill is a definite possibility. The aim is less sweating, not necessarily recreating an arctic tundra in your living room.
Fan Placement Matters
If air conditioning is not an option for you, fans can definitely assist in creating a nice breeze indoors, helping you feel a bit cooler. A well-placed fan can keep air moving and directed in the right places.
Placing a fan in the window can circulate fresh air and can pull hot air out of a stale room. Fan placement also depends on the arrangement of your furniture and any decorative obstacles that may be in the way. A box fan on the floor facing a wall that is opposite of where you would like the cool air can pull cold air from the floor and circulate it up higher in the room. Typically, pointing fans away from surfaces with light items on them, such as paper, is recommended.
Window Open, Window Closed
As mentioned above, an open window with a fan can circulate stale and hot air out of a room. An open window can also bring fresh outside air into a hot and humid room. However, closing a window can also keep heat and humidity out, allowing a fan to circulate cooler air from the floor level or for your air conditioning to effectively do its job.
Not charging your phone right now? Unplug the charger! Electronics that are not necessary can generate a lot of unwanted heat. It may not seem like it, but when you have a phone charger, a laptop, a PlayStation in rest mode, and coffee maker all plugged in, the heat builds up! Avoiding using an oven would also drastically heat the amount of heat being released into your living space as well.
Unplugging the electronics and small appliances around the house when they are not in use will aid in reducing the amount of heat that is added to a room. This will allow for more efficient cooling when using the cooldown method of your choice. This is more important when not using air conditioning but could also save you money by reducing your electric bill! The whole two birds with one stone concept can actually work in real life!
Into the great wide open.
Staying cool outdoors can be a challenge in hot and humid weather. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to keep yourself more content if you are braving the great outdoors.
Keeping It Cool
While getting ready for your day, try planning for activities that will keep you cool, such as swimming or finally catching that art exhibition that you’ve been dying to see (in the air-conditioned building). Make sure you use your sunscreen of at least 30 SPF and a nice wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin and eyes from the bright sun.
Hang out in the shade and frequently rest to avoid unnecessary exhaustion or overexposure. If strenuous activity is a must, head out and get those heavy-duty yard jobs done in the early morning or evening when temperatures are at their coolest for the day.
There are a few safety concerns when dealing with high heat and humidity. If you become concerned about your safety or someone around you, do not hesitate to seek medical advice.
Drink! Drink! Drink!
As mentioned above, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stay hydrated. There are tons of options out there for beverages that keep you hydrated. There are also ways to hydrate without drinking water. Eating watermelon and other fruits and vegetables that are high in water content will definitely help out.
Too Much Heat
The more difficult conditions to watch out for are heat exhaustion and heatstroke. These two conditions should be monitored by a healthcare professional. When in doubt, contact your primary care provider or emergency services if absolutely necessary.