How to Cool Yourself Without Air Conditioning
Are you stuck on a sweltering summer day without air conditioning? Here's how to cool yourself down before the heat overwhelms your body.
The sun is up, the heat's rising...
1. Cooling off in the water
Just Add Water! Cool water is a very effective way too cool off. Studies show that this will reduce your core body temperature by as much as 3 °F (1.5 ºC). The relief is almost immediate, and will last for up to one hour!
* Go to a pool and just relax in water. This will cool you down instantly. Even your little brother's kiddie pool will do.
* Ball up and soak a t-shirt in the sink, wring it out, put it on and sit in a lawn chair (or other chair that lets air through to you) in front of a fan. Re-wet as it dries. Works over 110F. Make sure not to soak it with cold water. It can be colder than you think. Instead use lukewarm water so you get cool without freezing. :)
* Wet your wrists and other pulse points with cold water. Use a piece of ice wrapped in a face cloth, to continue after the coolness wears off. Constantly cooling off the wrists will also cool off the body. Never use just ice; make sure it is wrapped in a towel or something similar.
* Wear a short sleeved shirt and put water on the sleeves. If there is a breeze or fan blowing on you, you can actually get cold. Use a squirt bottle, the sink or hose if outside to keep your sleeves wet. If you are outside and wearing long pants and you put water on your legs, the water will cool your legs.
* Hold that cold beverage on your neck to cool yourself double. A cold object, such as a soda can, held against the neck cools the blood to the brain very quickly.
* A bandana, soaked in water and tied about the neck cools quickly and protects against sunburn. Even better are cloths with water-absorbing crystals that can be purchased.
* Fill your bathtub with cool water. Once you are used to the temperature let some water out and refill with cold water. Keep doing this until you are sufficiently cold. Your body will stay cool for a long time after you get out.
* Here we have an exapmle of how to stay cool in your frige.
* While you in the fridge cooling down it gives you lots of time to think.
* Also while inside, if you get hungry there is always somthing to eat while you cool down.
3. Go Ahead, Sweat It Out! Water vapor produced by sweating actually takes heat away from your body if it is exposed to air and allowed to evaporate. The best thing to do is to put your sweaty self in the path of a cool breeze or fan.
4. Dress (or Undress) for the Heat. There are several strategies to dress, depending on your situation:
* Nothing: If you're in a situation where you can go without clothes, this can be the most comfortable, natural way to stay cool.
* Next-to-Nothing: Put on a swimsuit, or wear your underwear at home.
* Summer Clothing: Wear natural fabrics (cotton, silk, linen) rather than polyester, rayon, or other artificial fibers (with the possible exception of performance fabrics).
* Women can wear flowing dresses or skirts, but forgo the nylons or pantyhose if possible.
* Men should shun ties if possible, as this keeps heat near the skin.
* Wear Light Colors: Darker colors will absorb the sun's rays and be warmer.
* Cover Up: Covering up may actually keep your cooler, especially if the heat is low in humidity. In the scorching temperatures of the Middle Eastern deserts, traditional cultures wear clothing covering from head to toe. By protecting your skin from the sun beating down, you'll also shade your skin. Be sure your clothing is natural fabrics, and loose.
Desert cultures have learned cover up skin to keep cool.
5. Drink water, even if you are not thirsty! You must replace fluids lost in perspiration to prevent dehydration. Ice does not actually help you cool off if it is in water you will drink. Cool water does, but the colder the water the more energy your body spends making it body temperature so that it can use it.
6. Avoid direct sunlight. Stay in a shaded area if possible. Exposure to direct sunlight increases the heat index, so that your body may experience temperatures even higher than the air temperature!
7. Keep the air flowing. Turn on the ceiling fan or box fan in the room. Do not make a fan out of paper and use it to wave air past your face and neck. Contrary to popular belief, the activity created by waving actually burns calories and raises your core temperature. In any case, it isn't very effective.
8. Eat Smart. Smaller meals with less protein will reduce metabolic heat. Whatever you do eat should be cool and not require heat (or much heat) to be prepared (e.g. salads, sandwiches, etc.) But be sure to eat something, even though the heat might kill your appetite.
9. Use a Hint of Mint.Try a few minty or menthol products to cool your skin: slather on lotion with peppermint (avoid your face and eyes), shower with peppermint soap, use a minty foot soak, and powders with mint. Mint refreshes the skin and leaves a nice cooling sensation.
10. Try A Heat Snorkelling System.Take a glass and fill it almost to the brim with ice cubes. Then hold it up to your mouth and blow gently into the cup. The ice causes the air you are blowing into the cup to cool down drastically, and since the air only has one way out of the cup (the hole which should now be aiming right at your face) the cold air is forced out over your skin. This is a great alternative to air conditioning and is very simple.
11. Take Your Hat Off; Stay A While.Take off your shoes or hat while indoors! Much of the body's heat is released through the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, and the scalp. Keeping these areas cool makes a surprising difference.
12. Eat Spicy Food. It's not a coincidence that many people in hotter regions of the world eat spicy food. Spicy (hot to the taste) food increases perspiration which cools the body as it evaporates. It also can cause an endorphin rush that is quite pleasant and might make you forget about the heat.
13. Use Alcohol--Rubbing, That Is... Take ordinary rubbing alcohol and a wash-cloth and pour some alcohol onto the cloth and rub it onto your face, being careful not to get any in your mouth or eyes, and stand in front of or under moving air and the evaporating alcohol makes it feel around 30 degrees.
14. Think Cool. Read books about climbing Mount Everest, visiting Norway, or watch "March of the Penguins", "Ice Age", or "The Day After Tomorrow". You might not be physically cooler, but if your mind envisions a cold environment, you might feel a bit cooler.
* Don't forget that the human race lived for many, many years without air conditioning. Within the limits of your particular health situation, your body can adapt to the summer increase in temperature. Just become accustomed to the fact that you may have to alter your activities and schedule to 'beat the heat'.
* Stock your freezer with flavored ice treats. Freeze a bag of chopped fruit such as watermelon, pineapple or grapes. Cooling down can be a tasty experience too!
* If all else fails, go to the mall, library, church, movie theater or some other air-conditioned public building.
* You still want to get into the outdoors? Usually the early morning and evening are cooled down enough to enjoy your walk, run, hike, bike, gardening, or yard work.
* Apply a thin layer of vanishing cream to your freshly washed, dried face. Whether or not you have acne, the vanishing cream helps to absorb facial perspiration and postpones the moment when your glasses slip down your nose!
* Alcohol acts as a diuretic, which make you urinate more often than usual. This promotes further dehydration through water loss. Contrary to popular belief, caffeinated and sugary drinks can still promote good hydration, although not as effectively as pure water.
* Sweat includes both water and salt from your body. If you are sweating a lot, it is actually healthier to drink something with salt or other electrolytes in it to replenish the lost salt as well as the lost fluid. Gatorade or other sports drinks are good to use for this. Soda usually has high sodium content as well, but may contain the diuretic of caffeine, which won't hydrate you as well.
* Try this low-tech cooling technique. Place a medium-sized box-fan in a small window facing out. Seal up any remaining open areas in the window with cardboard. Close every other window in your house except for one, left open just a crack... This will actually blow all of the stagnant hot air out of your house and significantly cool down the overall temperature.
* While it is rarely a problem for individuals with good health, over-hydration is a possibility for individuals with heart, liver, or kidney problems. If you have any serious health problems, be mindful of how much water you drink, as your kidneys may not be able to excrete an excessive amount of water properly.
* Babies, children, pregnant women, and the elderly are all much more prone to overheating than others. Be sure to keep an eye on members of your family, co-workers, and neighbors.
* A body temperature above 104 °F (40 °C) is life-threatening and if it reaches 113 °F (45 °C) you are approaching sure death. Don't let your temperature rise anywhere near those temperatures.