10 Ways to (Naturally) Beat the Heat In Summer
- Choose Cooling Food & Drink: All food sources have their own qualities and can be categorized as either cooling, neutral/balanced or warming. Cooling foods clear heat and toxins, and help lower our core body temperature - super necessary as outside temps rise. Incorporate some of these foods into your summer meals to help stay cool and energized.
- Vegetables: Cucumbers, radishes, celery, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant, spinach
- Fruit: strawberries, mango, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pears, apples, banana, avocado
- Drinks: Coconut water, watermelon juice, water with fresh mint or cucumber
Avoid Spicy or warming foods that will increase your core temperature; oatmeal, ginger, cinnamon, alcohol, sweet potatoes, chili, coffee.
2. Breathe Like A Yogi: Summer heat can often bring emotions of irritation and anger (road rage x 10 anyone?) but a few rounds of Sitali breathing can help soothe you before you fly into a hot rage.
How To: Curl your tongue by pulling both sides upward toward the middle, then breathe in through your mouth. Hold your breath, and slowly exhale through your nose. Repeat five to 10 times.
3. Use Peppermint Essential Oil: Peppermint contains menthol which provides a wonderful cooling sensation. Diffuse the oil throughout your house or make your own body mist by adding 3-5 drops of oil into a 2 oz spray bottle. You can also apply directly to the skin using a carrier oil to your wrists and temples.
4. Know Your Bodies Pulse Points: Pulse points are areas on the body where blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin. The neck and wrist are well known points, but the inner thighs and tops of the feet work too. Getting these areas into contact with cold water can help your internal temp cool down quickly. Next time you're feeling a hot flash, try wearing a damp bandana around your neck or running cold water over your feet. Better yet, if you're near a body of water, just jump in.
5. Avoid Being in the Sun during Peak Hours: Schedule your workouts and activities in the morning or late afternoon and try and stay indoors (where you can hopefully relax in air conditioning) from 10am-3pm.
6. Take a Siesta: I wasn't a nap person until a few years ago. Now, I love closing my eyes for 25 minutes around 2:30pm. I wake up refreshed and with new energy to finish out the work day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes. I can definitely attest to it's benefits!
7. Opt For Cotton: Natural fibers like cotton allow air to circulate around the body while synthetics like polyester trap heat against the skin. Opt for loose clothing and bedding made of cotton to help regulate your body temperature.
8. Pack the Sun Kit: When you're going to be spending time outside, pack the necessities; sunscreen, plenty of water, sunglasses to protect your eyes, aloe vera, and a wide-brimmed hat. Try and find shade to hang out in or bring physical shelter like an umbrella to shield yourself from sun rays.
9. Coconut Oil Massage: Coconut oil has been used for centuries in Ayurveda (India's 5,00 year old traditional, natural system of medicine) because of its healing properties and positive effects on the body and mind. Keep a jar of coconut oil in the shower and after you've soaped up, massage your lower and upper body, and face for 3-5 minutes.Pat dry and your skin will feel amazing.
10. Relax in a Passive Yoga Pose: Reach for your yoga mat and a pillow, and unwind in legs up the wall pose. How To: Lie on your back with your sit-bones as close to the wall as is comfortable. From there, extend your legs up the wall so that the backs of your legs are resting fully against it. Stay for 10 minutes. This posture is super calming for the nervous system and helps cultivate a quiet mind.