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Keep it Cool!
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It’s puzzling. Last winter I heard people complain about how cold it was. Now I hear people complain about how hot it is! But in order to have summer, we have to bear with the heat. So how can you stay cool in spite of the weather?

Your Home: You can stay cooler inside your home by airing out twice a day. The crisp morning air will help keep your house cool during the day, and the fresh evening air will help cool it down for bedtime. It’s also helpful to adjust blinds or curtains in rooms that can block out direct afternoon sunlight. Another way to keep your house from heating up is to accomplish certain household tasks during the coolest part of the day. Running your washer and dryer, washing dishes, baking in your oven and ironing can raise the indoor temperature. If you have to do housework, using fans to keep the air circulating will make it feel cooler.

Your Body: For the outside of your body, try to dress in light-colored, loose fitting clothes. Cotton is a good material to wear on warm days. When I was growing up, we didn’t have air conditioning in our car, so we rolled down the windows and used spray bottles filled with cold water to keep us cool. A cold rag placed on the back of your neck will also help cool you down.

For the inside of your body, avoid eating spicy foods or foods that are heated, like soups, at the hottest time of day. Watermelon, sandwiches, and vegetable or fruit salads make great lunches on a hot afternoon. Also, make sure that you drink plenty of water, especially if you’re outside. Lack of adequate water can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion. When I was a kid, we used to make our own popsicles from juice to add some variety to our liquid intake.

Your Outdoors: If you live close to the ocean, you have an instant remedy for a hot summer day. You can jump the waves or sit in the shade of a tree or umbrella and read a good book. Nearby mountains can also provide relief from the heat since mountain temperatures are quite a bit lower than in the valley. But if neither of these is available, there’s always the way you used to keep cool as a kid: run through the sprinkler! And if that’s embarrassing to do alone, your children or grandchildren will love joining you.

Whatever you do to cool off this summer, enjoy every minute. Because before you know it, you’ll feel that familiar chill in the air, and you’ll wish for summer again.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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