It seems like around this time of year, we break into a sweat just lifting a finger. But life can’t stop with every sweat mustache that comes our way. If you’re not one of the lucky ones who stays dry during a 5-mile run at high noon, take a look at some of these temperature-lowering strategies and products to put on your to-cool list.
Watch What You Wear
Pop quiz! When it comes to staying cool and dry, do you want to opt for natural fabrics or should you stick to synthetics like polyester and spandex? In fact, this is a bit of a trick question. Classic synthetic fabrics’ inherent durability works against you by remaining impermeable to sweat, keeping it close to your body. Not only does this keep you from cooling off, it also can irritate your skin. But 100% cotton fabrics absorb moisture like a vacuum, leaving it wet and heavy. So for workouts, make sure that your gym clothes have moisture-wicking fibers woven in (most do nowadays), which prevent both from happening. For your day-to-day wardrobe, the more natural fibers the better- breathable fabrics like cotton should be able to absorb small amounts of sweat and allow for evaporation at similar rates.
Nike Free Run Swoosh Cool– $40
This moisture wicking fabric (Nike’s Dri-FIT) will keep you dry all the way until the finish line. Or the entire length of however you choose to sweat.
Zella Live-In Crop Leggings– $35
Assuming the name is referring to the comfort level, we’re sold.
Cool Your Pulse Points
When you check your pulse during a workout (or scary movie), where do you press your two fingers? At your neck? The inside of your wrist? Maybe your temple if you’re feeling creative? These points, among others (along your laugh lines, the inside of your bicep, your groin), are known as pulse points because the proximity of the artery to the skin allows you to actually feel the blood rushing through it. How is this relevant to temperature control? Because this blood is so close to the skin’s surface, it’s easier to cool down. Hold a cold compress to these points. Make your own with a cold, wet towel or the classic bag of frozen peas. Or try one of these spiffy gadgets:
Chill-Its Evaporative Cooling Towel– $7.50
The special fabric in this towel allows it to get significantly colder than the air around it. Simply activate it with water.
Frogg Toggs Chilly Band Wristbands– $6
These wristbands include cooling material and sealed ice chambers for double the cooling power.
Chew Your Water
One of, if not the, most important factors when it comes to cooling down is hydration. When you’re roasting in the summer heat craving cold foods like watermelon, lemonade or popsicles, what your body is really calling out for is some water. So give both your body and mind what they want and eat high-water content foods like fruits and vegetables. Veggies like cucumbers and peppers, and fruits like watermelon and citrus have tons of water bang for their buck. Be sure to minimize high-sugar foods like soda and ice cream that, while cold, can dehydrate you and eventually cause you to heat up.
Danum Fruit Infuser Water Bottle– $10
A great alternative to juice or soda when plain water just doesn’t cut it. Or infuse your fruit and veggies into our Bai Antiwater. The bottle is large enough to fit a plethora of foods and has the added antioxidant boost you need.
You wake up sweaty. You get into a hot shower in which you can’t distinguish sweat from water. You get dressed and continue to sweat. You get to work and everyone comments on how sweaty you are. You wake up from your nightmare, grateful for how perfectly you’ve controlled your bed temperature. Maintaining a cool temperature in the bedroom is not only integral for your blouses’ armpits, but studies show people actually sleep better in slightly cool temps than slightly warm ones. If a/c has yet to enter your life, try one of these for a sounder snooze:
Gel’O Cool Pillow Mat– $25
This mat, which you place over your pillow, can be refrigerated or microwaved depending on the season. Keeping the cool mat on your temple (a pulse point!) should help you doze off in no time.
Bed Fan with Wireless Remote– $100
This fan can be adjusted to blow in that magical little space between your sheets and mattress, maximizing airflow and minimizing sweaty sheet stickage.
*Pro tip: if you have a ceiling fan, see if you can change either the direction it spins or the angle at which the blades point- a fan that blows air upwards rather than down will collect the hot air in the room and keep it from raining down upon you.