Natural Ways to Cool Down this Summer

If the temperatures in the 90s here in Atlanta are any indication, we are in for a scorcher of a summer and will need all of the help that we can get to beat the heat. Here are some ways to stay cool when temperatures spike.

Confession: My strategy for super hot days is often to find somewhere with†air conditioning, but hiding from the heat isn’t the way to make the most of summer! Here, I’m sharing some of my favorite natural ways to cool down plus some great suggestions from friends and family who are better at summering than I am.

Why Staying Cool Matters

Getting hot can be uncomfortable, but†getting overheated can also be dangerous. The tips below can help you stay more comfortable, but they can also be important for safety, especially if you’ll be out in the heat for a long time or doing strenuous activity in the heat.

If you are†out in very hot weather, look out for these signs of overheating:

  • red or tingling skin
  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • weakness or cramping
  • increased heart rate
  • trouble catching your breath

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you need to get out of the sun, ideally indoors where you can cool down. In extreme cases,†overheating can lead to heatstroke, which is a 911 situation. If you or someone you’re with is having these symptoms and seems disoriented or confused or has a temperature over 104F, call 911 right away.

People over age 50 are most at-risk for heat stroke, but it can hit anyone, especially if you’re doing very strenuous outdoor activities for a long period. The tips below are meant to keep you comfortable when it’s hot, not substitute for medical attention in case of emergency. If you’re worried that you are experiencing heat stroke, don’t delay getting help.

Natural Ways to Cool Down this Summer

Choosing weather-appropriate fabrics goes a long way when it's hot outside.

1. Choose the right fabrics.

Light fabrics are your friend in hot weather. If you’re just going to be out and about, light cotton or linen work well. For exercising in the heat, you’ll want to choose breathable, athletic fabrics that wick moisture away from your body.

It can feel as much as 10-15 degrees cooler in the shade, so get out of the sun and hide under a tree or awning when you can!

2. Chase that shade.

It can feel as much as 10-15 degrees cooler in the shade, so get out of the sun and cool off†under a tree or awning when you can!

To stay cool in the summer, drink often, and choose the right cup.

3. Drink often, and choose the right cup.

Frequent, cold drinks are a great way to lower your body temperature and stay hydrated when you’re out in the heat, and the right cup can keep you cooler on the go. Choose a double-walled stainless steel†tumbler, like a Yeti or a Hydro Flask. These cups keep your drinks super cold. I’ve left a Yeti full of ice water in my hot car when it was 92 degrees outside. When I returned over an hour later, my†water was still ice cold, and†most of the ice was intact.

Related: 7 Water Bottles That Make Hydration Fun

Wearing the right hat can help you keep cool naturally this summer.

4. Bring a hat.

A hat is basically portable shade (see #2). Choose one with a big, floppy brim and a weave that breathes to keep you cool†while allowing air to circulate.

Get in the water to keep cool naturally this summer.

5. Get in the water.

Hitting the beach or pool†is a no-brainer in the summer, but†these aren’t the only ways to use water’s cooling power. When you’re out in the heat, keep a little spray bottle of water handy and mist your face and pulsepoints whenever you need. The†evaporating moisture will cool you down.

Use cooling towels to beat the heat.

6. Use cooling towels.

I can’t recommend cooling towels enough! They’re great for yard work or summer runs, and you can buy one or make your own with a†bandana, scarf or sarong. Basically, these are just bandanas that you soak in water and wrap around your neck or†tie around your head. Like the spray bottle,†you’re taking advantage of the cooling power of evaporation.

Take it easy.

7. Take it easy.

Activity raises your body temperature, so†take things slow when temperatures spike. If you can relax in a shady chair or hammock, do it up!†Even if you’re out and about, though, you can slow things down a bit to keep your body temperature in check.

Have a frosty treat to stay cool.

8. Have a†frosty treat.

Popsicles, slushies and ice cream are your friends when it’s hot outside.†Just like a cold drink, they lower your body temperature naturally.

Bring an umbrella.

9. Bring an umbrella.

This is another way to chase the shadeóbring it with you! I used this trick when I walked to the train station each day for my commute to work. Sure, I looked silly with my umbrella on a cloudless day, but that portable shade meant I got to†work without†breaking a sweat. Who’s laughing now?

Related at Care2

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All images via Thinkstock..

79 comments

Telica R
Telica R11 days ago

Thanks

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O5 months ago

I live in a hot dry area, with no full time electricity, and some nights the temp doesn't drop below 32 deg C for a few nights at a time and hits 48 - 49deg C during the day. I find having a spray bottle of water is a massive help but so too a wet towel to lay over you (and pray for a breath of wind!). These temps are bad for men and beasts as my dear uncle always said. We hate it but we are still alive, and just learn to put up with it. can't have cold bath as the water is too hot to touch in the day time.

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Jim V
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S5 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Philippa Powers
Philippa P5 months ago

Thanks.

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