Student health: Cheap tips to beat the heat

Slip and slide — not just for kids!

It’s gonna get hot! Summer is on its way, and in some places it’s already here. Whether you’re on the beach, working at a summer job, studying school subjects for a summer catch-up or kicking around a soccer ball, you want to stay cool. Student health is important, so don’t overheat during summer sports, tanning or just having fun. “But I can’t afford a trip to the Caribbean for sun and fun!” you say. Well, don’t despair. Here are some cheap tips to beat the heat wherever you find yourself this summer.

  • Stay hydrated. Just drinking more cold water during the day will keep your body hydrated, circulate your blood more easily and make you sweat more efficiently so you can cool down your body.
  • Go natural. Prevention magazine’s “Natural ways to stay cool this summer” by Catherine Winters offered some environmentally friendly tips: 1) Put your window fan in front of your open basement door to take advantage of naturally cool air. 2) Use compact fluorescent light bulbs which emit 75 percent less heat than incandescent bulbs. 3) Cotton sheets and loose fitting PJs help your body breathe in the hot weather.
  • Take a dip. Go to the beach, find a friend with a pool, go to the YMCA or a public pool or splash around in a pond or lake. Find the many places in your area where you can swim.

What about clothes?

A few of our tips involve what to wear — or where to go — to avoid over-sunning.

  • Accessorize. Here’s an excuse to go shopping. Be sure you’re properly protected if you’re spending time in the sun. Wear a hat, sunglasses, cotton long-sleeve shirt and 15+ SPF sunscreen. Choose light colors rather than dark and use an umbrella for shade.
  • Just for guys: Try summer fashion. Alicia Gonzalez wrote in “Let’s hear it for the boys: Geek chic to beat the heat,” April 23, 2013 in College Fashionista, “Winter is officially over and now it’s time to pull out the Justin Bieber surfer hairdo. Boys from all over are sporting this easy and maintainable cut. … Try wearing a bright tropical T-shirt and a pair of casual jeans to beat the heat.”
  • Go someplace with air conditioning. Get out of the hot house and go see a movie, hang out at the mall, get a cup of java at a coffee shop, blow your mind at a museum or — if you’re desperate — visit Mom or Dad at the office.
  • Install car shades. Windshield sun shades keep the car cool while you’re parked. Window shades for the back seat side keep passengers cool while riding. If you roll up your windows and lock your car in the summer, crack the windows open an inch or two to help air circulate.

What to eat to beat the heat

But it’s not just what you put on your body — what you put in your body counts, too.

  • Blend up some smoothies. Experiment in the kitchen. Blend some fruit, applesauce or juice with ice. Make homemade lemonade. You can even try a recipe for your own snow cones.
  • Make homemade popsicles. These aren’t just for kids anymore. Buy a plastic mold set, pour in some fruit juice (or fresh fruit like strawberries pureed in a blender), stick on the stick and pop in the freezer. This party treat will keep you cool. You can even make pops out of pudding.
  • Eat smaller meals. “Eat small meals and eat more often. The larger the meal, the more metabolic heat your body creates breaking down the food. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat,” according to Natasha Courtnay-Smith and Charlotte Dovey in “20 hot tips to stay cool,” for the Daily Mail.
  • Eat spicy food. Yes, the hotter the pepper or curry, the cooler you’ll be. The chemical capsaicin in hot peppers makes your skin perspire, and by sweating, your body cools down.

If all else, fails…

  • Play Slip ‘n Slide. Fun for adults as well as children, this popular lawn game keeps you laughing, exercising and cool with a bunch of friends.

What are your tips for staying cool this summer?


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