Breath – Game changer…seriously…change your mood, change your mindset, shift your life. You may already know that breathing has an effect on our psyche, but did you know it can cool you off? My favorite summertime breath exercise is Shitali (shi-ta-lee). Sometimes referred to as “Taco Breath”…not for the smell, but for the shape of the tongue.
TO PRACTICE: create a “Taco” shape with the tongue. If not possible (for 10% of the population), drop the tongue behind the lower teeth and open the lips slightly in an “o” shape). 2) Breathe in through the mouth (or taco tongue). 3) Close the mouth, rest the tongue on the back of the upper teeth and exhale through the nose. Repeat x10. This is a perfect breath to practice at theme park, on a hike, in the sun for extended period of time or anytime you are feeling like you are overheating.
Shade – Make shade wherever you go (beach, ball games, water parks), with the simplicity of an umbrella. Large or small they are handy to help keep the heat from penetrating too deep. It can reduce the heat up to 20%! If your home needs more shade to reduce the heating effects of the suns bright summer rays, you may want to consider some shade trees. When is the best time to plant a tree? Ten years ago…next best time? TODAY!
Higher Elevations – For your vacay take it to the mountains. Camping, hiking, floating on the lake…the cooler temperatures are perfect for getting away from the downtown valley heat. If that isn’t possible, use “Legs Up the Wall Pose” to reduce the heat!
Hydrate – drink 8 glasses of water a day is the measurement. Add more in the heat or during an athletic event. Headaches, nausea, and hunger can result from de-hydration. More dangerously is heat exhaustion from loss of electrolytes from sweat in the sun. Hydrate with water and use minerals to supplement. One of my favorites is Concentrated Trace Mineral Drop Complex by Bio Nativus. It helps with leg cramping from mineral deficiency. For a cooling effect, I enjoy a drop of peppermint essential oil in my water. If I am exerting myself physically (even moderately) I use “Amazing Oranges” in my water as an electrolyte replacement. This keeps me from getting dizzy and helps the water hydrate the cells more efficiently.
Wear a Hat – They never go out of fashion. Fishing, boating, hiking, biking, beaching, there is a hat for any occasion. Shade for the face is great protection from the sun.
Adopt Outdoor Cooking – Heating the house with baking or stove top cooking can be eliminated with a simple outdoor grill option whenever possible. It will also make your neighbors jealous when they smell the yummy eats you have on the BBQ.
Fans – It’s all about circulation! Feeling the wind in your face can cool you off. Especially if there is a light perspiration creating a bit of dew on the skin. A light breeze on the moist skin is cooling. That gimmicky handheld spray bottle with a battery powered fan from the dollar store just might be a lifesaver at an afternoon ball game!
Exercise Caution – Avoid moderate to intense exercise in the extreme heat of the day. Instead, opt for long walks or brisk jogs in the morning during the coolest part of the day.
Choose Cooling Foods – pineapple, fresh mint, watermelon, cold smoothies, and seasonal fruits are great snacks and also cool the body. Opt for these when you are invited to a picnic or BBQ. Avoid heat inducing foods that are overly drying with little or no water content.
Go Loose – Pick fabrics that are soft, light, and flow in the breeze. Soft cotton is not only comfortable, but also practical when it comes to staying cool. Polyester and nylon are restricting and do not breathe well, hindering your body’s ability to cool off.