Water Cooler Wellness: 5 Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

Maroon 5 recently released a new song titled This Summer’s Gonna Hurt. And you know what? They were right.

Here at the USANA Home Office, we’re facing nearly 100-degrees Fahrenheit temperatures (that’s 37.777 degrees Celsius for my non-American friends) all month long. And wouldn’t you know I live in a hobbit-sized apartment with no air conditioning?

My point here is that there isn’t enough laundry detergent in the state of Utah to keep my sheets untarnished from the heat-induced sweat attacks that haunt me throughout the summer nights. (TMI?)

It’s not necessarily rocket science, but there are plenty of ways—simple tricks, you might say—to beat the summer heat. Let’s discuss, shall we?

Close the WindowsWatch the Windows

This one’s a super easy tip to follow. It goes like this: when you hit the sack at night, crack open a couple of windows and let the cool, nighttime air flow through your home. Then, when the sun rises and you roll out of bed, be sure the close all the windows up and keep any blinds or drapes shut. This way, you’re trapping as much of that cool air as possible and keeping out the dreaded hot air that emerges during the daytime. Just make sure you have at least two windows open at night so you can get a good cross breeze going.

Pro tip: At night, line your windows with a wet sheet for maximum cooling.

Hot While BakingCool it Down in the Kitchen

This one is tough for me, especially since I’m an avid baker. But learning to turn off the oven and even chill some of your meals is a great way to keep from overheating in the summer months. I’m not talking about a snow cone, either. Cold? Yes. Healthy? Well…eating a large snow cone is comparable to drinking a glass of high-fructose corn syrup. Keep the frozen sweet treats to a minimum.

Instead, why not whip up a satisfying chilled grilled chicken pesto pasta for dinner? Or how about a tasty orzo salad with chickpeas, cucumbers, lemon, dill and feta? Or maybe this unique chilled lobster salad with sweet corn and tomatoes? There are plenty of healthy, refreshing summer recipes to experiment with!

Sense SPFProtect Your Skin

The #USANAlifestyle includes plenty of outdoor activity and exercise, but no one likes a nasty sunburn. Limiting sun exposure, wearing protective clothing, and using sunscreens may reduce the risks of skin aging, skin cancer and other harmful effects of the sun.

So if you’re going to be exposed to direct sunlight for more than 15 minutes, make sure you apply some Daytime Protective Emulsion from the Sensé™ skin care line. This high-performance moisturizer includes a broad spectrum SPF 15 and free-radical-fighting antioxidants to help protect and hydrate your skin. It is important to apply a sunscreen product generously and frequently to optimize the SPF protection. Be sure to use sunscreen anytime you’re outside, even when the sun isn’t shining as the UV rays penetrate through the clouds and can reflect off water and other surfaces.

Speaking of direct sunlight, if you’re one of those people who choose to huddle up in your house to avoid the blistering heat, don’t forget you still need to maintain sufficient amounts of vitamin D. With 2000 IU of vitamin D per tablet, USANA’s Vitamin D supplement is a simple way to ensure you’re getting a good dose of this crucial micronutrient.

Healthy Hydration

We all need water—that’s obvious. But in the summer heat, this rule becomes even more important. With extra perspiration and strain on our bodies, it’s crucial to avoid dehydration, because it can throw off your electrolyte levels. This may cause muscle weakness or heart rhythm disturbances due to overly low or high levels of important chemicals like potassium and sodium.

HydrationSo how much water should you consume? You’ve probably heard the commonly used recommendation of eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. It’s not the worst guideline to stick with, but it might not be the best, either. Things like height, weight, food consumption, outside temperature, and physical activity all play into how much water an individual should consume.

The best way to determine your hydration level is to pay attention to your body. First of all, if you feel thirsty, that’s your body telling you it needs water, and you shouldn’t ignore it. Be mindful that if you’re always waiting until you feel thirsty, your body might already be partially dehydrated, so try to address your thirst before you feel it.

Another way to keep your hydration level in check is by taking a look at your urine. I know, it sounds a little gross, but it’s a really great indicator to tell if you’re sufficiently hydrated. When you’re getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.

Pro tip: Avoid dehydrating beverages containing alcohol or caffeine, and try to consume foods with higher water content such as fruits and vegetables. You can even try enjoying a salty snack containing a small amount of sugar. The sodium will help to replace what you lose from perspiration, and the sugar will help transport the sodium through the intestinal wall. A Berry Nutty bar would be an excellent choice for a snack like this!

Dress Cool, Stay Cool

I’m not being shallow with this one—dressing cool isn’t just about appearance. You can choose items of clothing to literally help keep your body cooler. Shirts made of natural fibers like cotton are more breathable than synthetic fibers that can trap heat in, causing you to sweat even more. Also try to wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that won’t attract as much sunlight and will allow more air to circulate underneath the fabric.

So there you have it. Some cool tips for a cooler summer. Just remember to enjoy the perks of the summer season in a fun—and safe—way.

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